For a long time, the researchers believed that diabetes during pregnancy, gestational diabetes, did not have long-term effects on the child. Even for the mother, it is a temporary condition and tends to subside over time. Nonetheless, it could boost the risk of type 2 diabetes in the mother by a whopping 600%.
With the new study results, everything you know about the effects of gestational diabetes on the kids is sure to take a new turn.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes (GD) is a type of short-term metabolic disorder. The mother experiences a sudden surge in the blood glucose levels, especially during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Reports suggest GD affects 1 out of every 10 pregnant women. In fact, the incidence is higher in the developed countries. Being overweight or obese and higher age at pregnancy are the common risk factors.
Effects of GD on The Kids: What Do The Latest Studies Suggest?
When a pregnant woman has high levels of glucose in the blood, glucose transportation across the placenta increases. As a result, the baby inside the womb (fetus) is exposed to exaggerated levels of glucose and insulin.
Moreover, inflammation in certain brain areas of the fetus may affect memory and cognition in later years. Mood disorders may result due to the changes in the brain chemicals that regulate mood.
The researchers found that the effects on memory, language and cognition may be evident in the first year of the baby’s life.
The Bottom Line
Diabetes during pregnancy has detrimental effects on the baby’s developing brain. Most notably, 30%-40% of the babies born to diabetic women have some problems with the brain functions. Therefore, it is important for the mother to take all the preventions to keep her blood glucose under control.References
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias. URL Link. Retrieved August 21, 2017.