Q: How does gestational diabetes affect a developing baby?
A: You can help minimize your baby's chances of developing complications by carefully managing your gestational diabetes. The condition can cause a newborn to grow very big in utero (over 9 pounds), which may result in a traumatic delivery in which your baby could be injured. Having a very large baby also dramatically increases your chances of needing a cesarean section. Other potential problems for the baby include hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar), jaundice, electrolyte abnormalities, seizures, and breathing problems due to immature lungs (called respiratory distress syndrome). Furthermore, a new study published by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that children born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are twice as likely to meet the criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by age 6 as those whose mothers did not develop the condition. They may also be at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.