Gestational Diabetes and Your Baby's Gender: Is There a Link?

The gender of the baby you're carrying can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes, according to one study. 

When it comes to your risk for developing gestational diabetes, it might matter if you're carrying a baby boy versus a baby girl.

According to a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, an expecting mom's risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy as well as type 2 diabetes later is connected to whether she's carrying a son or daughter. And it turns out that women in the study who carried boy babies were more likely get diabetes in pregnancy than those who were carrying baby girls.

The research comes from close to 643,000 Canadian women who had their first child in the first decade of the millennium. However, while the study did determine a link between baby's gender and mom's risk, it didn't prove cause and effect (nor was it designed to).

"It is thought that gestational diabetes occurs because of a combination of underlying metabolic abnormalities in the mother and temporary metabolic changes that take place during pregnancy," said the study's author, Baiju Shah, of the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, in a press release. "Our findings suggest a male fetus leads to greater pregnancy-associated metabolic changes than a female fetus does."

In other findings from the research, it turned out that women who got gestational diabetes during their pregnancies with girl babies also had a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes afterward. This suggested, however, that those women had other underlying health issues.

Close to one in 10 women will get gestational diabetes during their pregnancies, so many expecting moms will be curious about these new findings.

I glugged down that syrupy glucose mix during my second trimester, and the screening test revealed I did not have gestational diabetes—so that was a huge relief. But I rarely see myself reflected in studies about gender predicting certain pregnancy outcomes—given I carried one son and one daughter at the same time during my twin pregnancy!

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She's also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

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