What can prevent fetal and neonatal morbidity from gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)?

Updated: Apr 29, 2020
  • Author: Thomas R Moore, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Infants of mothers with preexisting diabetes experience double the risk of serious injury at birth, triple the likelihood of cesarean delivery, and quadruple the incidence of newborn intensive care unit (NICU) admission. Studies indicate that the risk of these morbidities is directly proportional to the degree of maternal hyperglycemia.

In gestatational diabetes mellitus, OGTT gut glucose absorption is markedly lowered. Thus hyperglycemia of pregnancy does not result from too rapid or increased glucose absorption. [20]

The excessive fetal and neonatal morbidity attributable to diabetes in pregnancy should be considered preventable with early diagnosis and effective treatment therapies. Guidelines have been established for the screening of pregnant women (see Screening for Diabetes Mellitus during Pregnancy) and for tailoring treatment to the unique needs of pregnancy.

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