Can a Newborn Baby Have Diabetes from Mother?

Diabetes is a complicated problem and the same becomes all the more complicated when a woman who is pregnant develops the disease. The high glucose levels in the mother cause the child to suffer from various problems as we shall see in the article that follows. So, join in for the article “Can a Newborn Baby Have Diabetes from Mother?”

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Types of Diabetes During Pregnancy

In today’s world, nearly 3 to 10 percent of all the pregnancies have the problem of high glucose levels in the blood. Out of these cases, around 80 to 88% of the mothers are affected by gestational diabetes. Out of those who suffer from pre-gestational diabetes, 35% are affected by type 1 while the remaining 65% have type 2 diabetes.

During pregnancy, there are two different types of diabetes that women might have:

Gestational Diabetes: This is the type where the woman suffers from the problem of high blood sugar and diabetes which she contracted at the time of pregnancy.

Pre-Gestational Diabetes: Type 1 or type 2 diabetes which affected a woman before she got pregnant.

Newborn Baby Have Diabetes from Mother

How Does the Child of a Diabetic Mother Get Affected?

When an expecting mother has diabetes, she should be extremely careful in effectively managing the condition. If the diabetes of a pregnant mother is not managed well, the child that is so born will be exposed to a lot of risks and unwanted diseases.

The excess blood glucose in the mother leads the child to secrete an excess of insulin to deal with the situation. However, this gives rise to several complications in the child including hypoglycemia, premature birth, amongst others. The same is explained in detail in the below paragraphs. If the mother is dependent on insulin for her diabetes, the child is also exposed to greater risks of birth deformities including the inadequate formation of essential organs like the heart, spinal cord, etc.

Risks to the Child Whose Mother Had Diabetes During Pregnancy

If the child is born of a mother who had diabetes at the time of pregnancy and the same was not managed properly, the child may have to live with the following risks:

Increased Birth Weight

When the mother has high levels of blood glucose in her body, the body of the unborn child tries to release more of the insulin in order to use that extra glucose. Now when this deposits in the child as fat, the child grows too heavy and the condition is also known as macrosomia. Babies so born can be as heavy as even 9 pounds.

Early Birth

Another risk to the baby born out of a diabetic mother is that due to the various complications involved, the baby comes out early. Complications may come either due to the weight of the baby or the high glucose levels in the mother leading to an early labor.


The baby who is born to a diabetic mother will have produced an excess of insulin in order to deal with the high glucose levels in the mother’s body. As a result, there are high chances that after a few days of being born, the sugar levels become too low.

Respiratory Distress Syndrome

The babies born to diabetic mothers can have problems in breathing as well. The baby will have produced too much of insulin in order to deal with the high glucose in the blood of the mother. However, the lung takes some more time to get matured. Hence, until that time, the baby shall have a problem while breathing.

Exposed to a Greater Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

When a child is born to a diabetic mother, as seen above, he or she is usually obese and this increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes at the later stages of his or her life.

As is clear from the above paragraph, the child who is born from a diabetic mother is exposed to a lot of diseases and certainly has higher risks of contracting diabetes as well.

Treatment to babies Born to Diabetic Mothers

There are various checks and steps which the doctors take if a child is born of a diabetic mother.

  • The child is first tested for hypoglycemia by the doctors
  • If the doctors find that the blood sugar has gone too low even just once, the experts will keep checking the same over a period of several days.
  • The child is sometimes even given glucose through the umbilical vein
  • Sometimes the child might also need assistance when it comes to breathing

Hence, there are treatments available to the child who is born of a diabetic mother. The complications could take a few days to just go away.

We hope that the above post has been helpful in helping you to understand the complications that a newborn child might have when the women is suffering from diabetes. It is for this reason that it becomes so important for the mother to control diabetes efficiently especially when she is pregnant.

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