Endocrinology-Diabetes Questions Gestational Diabetes

If I have diabetes during pregnancy, what are the chances of my child getting it too?

I have gestational diabetes and I am currently on medication and closely monitoring my blood sugar. What are the risks of my child acquiring diabetes too? Does it depend on how I manage my condition or could it happen regardless?

6 Answers

None, until probably much later in life.
Dear Patient:

Best of luck with your pregnancy.
It is very important for you to keep your sugar levels under good control. High sugars cross the placenta and the fetal pancreas responds by producing more insulin which causes the baby to gain weight. In the overweight baby this can lead to insulin resistance, high sugars and eventually diabetes.
Future development of diabetes in the child is also affected by the genetic contribution of the parents.
So, gestational diabetes is very complex when it comes to fetal growth and development. Bottomline, for your infant's good your sugars should be well controlled.

Marvin A. Leder, MD, FACP, FACE
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The risk for acquiring diabetes is higher in people whose parents have diabetes so you child is at risk of acquiring diabetes regardless of how you manage your condition. However, managing your glycemic control will prevent pregnancy-related issues.
Generally if one parent has Type 2 diabetes, their children have a 25% chance of getting it sometime during their life, if both parents have Type 2, then it’s a 50% chance.
If one parent has type II diabetes, 25% of the offspring will get it. If both parents have Type II, 100% of the offspring will get it.
These are good questions some of which are under study & we do not have answers yet. Since you have gestational diabetes, you are carrying the diabetes genes & will pass that on to the child. It takes a gene from both parents though for the child to have diabetes. So the problem is does your spouse carry the gene. We don't know the genes for diabetes especially Type 2, so we can't test him. How well you manage the diabetes during the pregnancy probably has little effect on whether the child will develop diabetes but poor control will have other adverse effects such as big babies with difficult delivery, post delivery hypoglycemia & hypocalcemia, jaundice & other problems in the baby. So control your blood sugar well during the pregnancy and don't worry about the future.