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Untreated Gestational Diabetes May Lead to Shoulder Dystocia and Other Complications

A new study has found that treating even mild gestational diabetes significantly reduces the risk of certain birth injuries and lessens the need for emergency C-sections. Gestational diabetes occurs during late pregnancy, when a mother’s body is unable to produce and use all the insulin that it needs. Without enough insulin, the body is unable to convert the glucose into energy and, as a result, it builds up in the mother’s blood. This blood then reaches the baby through the placenta, giving it more sugar than it needs. The baby stores this excess energy as fat. Because the baby is larger than normal, there is an increased risk of its shoulders becoming lodged behind the mother’s pelvis during delivery, a situation known as shoulder dystocia. If the doctors and healthcare providers are negligent in their delivery, the baby can suffer from Brachial Plexus injuries. These injuries can be severe and permanent and may include paralysis and deformation of the baby’s arms. If you have been diagnosed with even a mild case of gestational diabetes, it is therefore important that you receive proper treatment in order to reduce these risks.

Read more about gestational diabetes and its risks here.