Endocrinology-Diabetes Questions Diabetes

Diabetes affecting my baby

I have Type 2 diabetes and I am expecting my baby in a few weeks. My blood sugar has been pretty well controlled during my pregnancy. Will my baby need extra help after birth?

16 Answers

Most babies born to moms with type 2 diabetes do very well. Your care team will usually check baby’s blood sugar soon after birth and, if it’s low, treat it- this doesn’t happen to every baby and is usually a short-term issue if it does occur. Some babies may be larger than average when mom has diabetes, and this can cause issues during the birth itself with baby fitting through the birth canal; your doctor can often roughly estimate from ultrasound how large your baby might be. Particularly if your sugars have been well controlled, I would generally expect baby will be healthy.
If you have been well controlled, especially with diet, your baby should be
able to normalize their blood glucose after birth; however, sometimes they
need a little extra help. The most likely issue you will run into will be
that the baby's blood sugar is low, which could potentially require some
sugar water or formula supplementation if he/she does not take to breast
The better controller you are the better for the baby as well; however your baby's sugar will
Still need to be monitored and if
If on insulin there is increased risk of
Cardiac anomalies with baby that need to be investigated as well to be thorough.
Possibly - Newborns born to diabetic mothers will need to have blood sugars regularly checked for at least the first 12 hours after birth. He/She may have low blood sugars initially that might need to be addressed with either extra feedings or IV fluids with sugar depending on the degree of hypoglycemia. Some babies born to diabetic mothers have feeding difficulties. Very occasionally there may be some cardiac issues but that is pretty uncommon.
It is possible, but if you have been keeping your condition under good control, the effect should be minimal. Good luck!
It is difficult to predict things in any newborn, regardless of pregnancy complications. I would recommend you discuss this with your OB doctor who will know your specific case better
Most likely not. There are some routine precautions taken before and after birth when the mother is diabetic, but good glycemic control during pregnancy is the most important preventive factor.
If your blood sugars have been well controlled during your pregnancy and your baby's birth weight is <4Kg, your baby will most likely not require any special care other than closer monitoring of blood sugars after birth.
Generally no, but it is possible. The delivery team and the pediatricians will surely watch the sugars right after birth and make sure they are normal. Any intervention taken will be decided at that time, but generally, you should not need to worry. Diabetes is very common and generally, we don't see any issues in newborns
We pediatrician are very aware of what we need to do when we have an infant born to a diabetic mother. The infants that usually have fluctuation in their sugar levels after birth are the ones born to insulin dependent mothers, this mainly because the insulin taken by their mothers, can affect the infants sugar levels after birth. Most hospitals and pediatrician have protocol orders to monitor the sugar level of those infants and we rarely run into any mayor problem. You baby usually will do just fine and if the sugar levels fluctuate, we may need to supplement him/her with extra feedings or in more rare circumstances with intravenous fluids.
if your diabetes has been well controlled and the baby is at term, I would not anticipate any problems. There are a lot of problems with the baby if the diabetes is not well controlled. Premature babies, large babies, breathing problems, blood sugar & blood calcium problems, jaundice etc are common & can be life threatening. If control has not been good, & sonogram indicates the baby is overweight for gestational age then a neonatologist should be consulted prior to delivery & be on standby to take the baby to NICU. But if your blood sugars have been good & the HbA1c has been good the baby should be fine. Good luck & congratulations
If your glucose has been staying stable, there's a good chance that you will have a normal delivery and baby outcome. However, if your last ultrasound showed increase in baby size (birthweight over 9 lbs) with corresponding low amniotic fluid, then your baby may have fetal distress, you may need a C section and your baby may have neonatal hypoglycemia.

Hope this helps and good luck!!
Dr Sunil
According to the NIDDK:
A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine.
High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth.
High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy.
But as long as your sugar has been tightly controlled during pregnancy chances are baby will be fine.

Richard Aballay, MD
I am sure your obstetrician has been monitoring the baby's growth so that you know her size. The most frequent problem these babies have is their blood sugar being too low, if you are taking medication. If so, she may need early feedings, tube feedings, or intravenous fluids. However, if your blood sugar is controlled with diet alone, these are much less likely. Other potential problems include respiratory distress, polycythemia and resulting jaundice, and hypocalcemia.
Diabetes can also be associated with birth defects, but I am sure your OB has been checking ultrasounds for any problems. A thorough physical examination at birth will answer that concern. Be sure that your pediatrician knows that you are a type 2 diabetic and can watch for these problems--often hospital paperwork doesn't reach the doctor, and your pediatrician may not know all of your health issues. Be prepared for the POSSIBILITY that the baby will need extra help after birth.
Well controlled blood sugar is a good thing during the pregnancy, which surely will decrease your risk of complications during and after child birth. There is still a chance that the baby may be larger in size, may have low blood sugar and jaundice after birth and may develop breathing problems, likely temporary. The baby will also be at increased risk of diabetes and obesity later in life. So, I recommend healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes and exercise very early in life as prevention.