A new study has shown that women with gestational diabetes who follow a controlled diet are at “no greater risk” of having big babies than those who follow an insulin treatment.
Diabetes And Big Babies
According to a new research study, women with gestational diabetes who follow a controlled healthy diet are at “no greater risk” of having big babies than those who follow an insulin treatment throughout their pregnancies. Having big babies, also known as macrosomia, is very common among diabetic mothers- up to 50 percent possibility.
Macrosomia puts both mothers and their babies at a larger health risk, including injuring them both during delivery. Mothers with larger babies are often scheduled for c-sections in order to avoid this.
"We know big babies may have a greater tendency to get stuck in labour which can cause injury to both the baby and mother, so it's a really important outcome to look at," said Fatima Vally, the lead author of the study.
Larger babies also have an increased risk of having low levels of blood sugar, and often need special treatment following their birth.
Dr Vally said that she and her team of researchers hoped this study could lead to diabetic pregnant women to need fewer specialist appointments and scans during their final trimester, and also avoid the need to induce labour.
“Up until now, all women in pregnancy with diabetes are treated as a high risk pregnancy, whether they are using diet, insulin, or other medications to control their diabetes,” she said.
“Diet has always been the first port of call for managing diabetes in pregnancy.
“However no study has looked at whether diet can reduce the known risk of having bigger babies.”
This study, conducted at “ Royal Women’s Hospital,” looked at 202 pregnant women with diabetes, who were given proper dietary advice, and regularly scheduled for monitoring of their blood glucose levels, showed a minimized risk of developing larger babies. When compared to women who followed insulin treatment without dietary advice, both were at similar risks.