Gestational diabetes leads not only to ill health for the mother but often leads to premature birth, excessive birth weight, infants who struggle with hypoglycaemia after birth and ongoing health issues for the child such as an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Research over recent years has found that ‘pre programming’ of children’s health conditions can occur before conception and during pregnancy, and is influencing new thinking in clinical practice for maternity care and the importance of a healthy diet for mothers prior to conception.
Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in gestational diabetes in Western Sydney, predominantly in at-risk ethnic groups. The statistics are alarming with the rate approaching 18% of all pregnancies.
According to studies 1, 50% of women with gestational diabetes will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
1. Damm P, Houshmand-Oeregaard A, Kelstrup L, Lauenborg J, Mathiesen ER, Clausen TD. Gestational diabetes mellitus and long-term consequences for mother and offspring: a view from Denmark. Diabetologia. 2016 Jul;59(7):1396-1399. doi: 10.1007/s00125-016-3985-5. Epub 2016 May 12. PMID: 27174368.