A University of Cambridge study has revealed that expectant mothers are being tested too late for diabetes in pregnancy (known as ‘gestational diabetes’). Read here
Diabetes arises in almost one fifth of pregnancies and can cause damage to mother and baby or both, so it is a serious problem which needs to be tackled.
The most common complications in diabetic pregnancies relate to the baby being excessively large, which can lead to stillbirth or delays during delivery causing hypoxic brain injury (‘cerebral palsy’). A difficult delivery can also lead to fractures or injuries to the mother (‘third or fourth degree tears’) which cause incontinence.
This latest study suggests that the excessive growth spurt of babies in the womb occurs before routine tests for diabetes are even carried out at 28 weeks. At present, a routine blood test is performed at 8-12 weeks into pregnancy, and those patients found to be at risk of developing gestational diabetes are offered a full test at 24-28 weeks. Most will have the test at 28 weeks, which is now considered to be too late.
Once diabetes is diagnosed, a management plan can be implemented. Usually, a combination of diet, exercise and medication is sufficient. Drugs such as inslulin and metformin can regulate blood glucose levels and prevent complications occurring.
Our specialist team have represented many patients who have suffered the effects of gestational diabetes. Contact the team today for free initial expert advice.