High blood-sugar levels for expecting moms - even if they don't develop diabetes - can have a negative impact on their babies' health.
Babies born to women with diabetes are at higher risk for birth complications, Caesarian delivery, and impaired insulin levels. New research suggests that babies born to women with high blood sugar levels have many of these same health risks, even if the mother doesn't develop full-blown diabetes.
Doctors from Northwestern University, along with colleagues from around the world, gathered information on more than 23,000 pregnant women.
They found that women with the lowest blood sugar levels gave birth to abnormally large babies roughly 5 per cent of the time, compared to 26 percent for women with the highest blood sugar levels. Higher blood sugar also increased the chance of Caesarian delivery and low blood sugar problems for the baby by 10 per cent.
Researchers say that there was NO set point at which these health risks appeared; they grew gradually as blood sugar levels increased. Experts say maintaining a healthy weight - both before and during pregnancy- is the most important thing that women can do to keep their blood sugar levels down.