Could diabetes harm my baby?


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If you are diabetic and pregnant then you could have one of three different types of diabetes; type I, type II or gestational diabetes. If you had either type I or type II diabetes before you became pregnant then you would be advised to discuss any concerns that you have with your GP or your diabetic nurse. Your diabetes increases your risk of have a still born baby or of your baby dying or becoming ill at an early age and they will be more susceptible to developing abnormally. Your baby will be at a particular risk of developing heart problems due to the high levels of glucose in your blood. You should also be aware that your child will have a greater risk of developing obesity and/or diabetes later in life. The best way for you to reduce the risks of harm to your baby due to your diabetes is to ensure that your diabetes is under good control before you become pregnant and to continue to control your blood glucose level very closely throughout your pregnancy. You will need to monitor your blood glucose more frequently as it will tend to vary more throughout your pregnancy but the less you allow it to waiver out of the normal range, the lower the risk of harm to your baby. In addition, you should consider taking extra supplements of folic acid which will reduce the risk that your baby will develop spina bifida (a condition that occurs when the spine develops incorrectly). If you have gestational diabetes then your baby will be at a higher risk of developing health problems or being still born. You should also be aware that your child will have a higher risk of developing diabetes themselves later in life as well as possible becoming obese. If you have gestational diabetes then your GP will be able to advice you on how to control your blood sugar levels with you diet which will help you to reduce the risk of harm coming to your baby due to high blood sugar levels.     


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