Diabetes and Pregnancy FAQ
Frequently asked questions
- Will my baby get diabetes?
- Does insulin harm the baby?
- What are my chances of getting diabetes in the long term?
- Diabetes can cause complications to eyes and kidneys, will I get them?
- If I get a low blood sugar, does this harm the baby?
- What should I do if I have a low BG?
- What should I do if I have gestational diabetes while I wait to see the diabetes team?
No, the baby will not be born with diabetes. However, since the mother’s genes are passed on, there is a risk for developing diabetes as the child grows up due to lifestyle factors (inactivity, diet and overweight/obesity).
Insulin does not cross the placenta and will not harm the baby. Left untreated, high blood glucose can be harmful and result in complications for the baby, such as large birth weight and shoulder dystocia.
For most women with gestational diabetes, the diabetes goes away right after delivery. However, there is an increased risk for diabetes later on, especially within the first 5-10 years post pregnancy. Consuming a balanced diet, engaging in regular activity and a maintaining a healthy body weight can help to decrease your risk for diabetes.
Complications can occur with long-standing, poorly managed diabetes, so it would not be expected that a woman with gestational diabetes would develop these complications during pregnancy.
Low blood sugars do not seem to harm the baby. Low sugars in treated gestational diabetes are rare as the mother is so resistant to insulin. Animal studies suggest the hypoglycemia has to be very severe and very prolonged before any harm could come to the baby.
Some simple tips to get you started:
- Cut out sugary drinks, such as regular pop and juices. Choose water first.
- Space your meals into 3 meals and 3 snacks to help reduce portion size.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Walking is the best way to get started.
- If there is going to be a delay to get into the clinic (> 1 week), ask a pharmacist for a blood glucose meter to start checking your blood glucose. Check before breakfast and 1 hour after each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner).