Skip to main content

We use cookies to help us improve your experience and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

To find out more about cookies and how we use them, please see our privacy policy.

Gestational diabetes risks

Risks to you

Gestational diabetes is a high-risk pregnancy so you will need close observation.

Women with gestational diabetes are at possible risk of:

  • pre-eclampsia (sudden rise in blood pressure) - high blood pressure during pregnancy can place extra stress on the heart and kidneys and in some cases may mean induction of labour
  • a big baby (known as macrosomia) - your GP or midwife should discuss the birth options with you
  • frequent urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • polyhydramnios - increased fluid around your baby

Risks to your newborn baby

Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at risk of certain conditions. They may need special care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Risks include:

  • being large at birth (macrosomia) - large babies are more likely to experience birth trauma such as damage to their shoulders (shoulder dystocia) during vaginal birth
  • low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia)
  • respiratory problems
  • jaundice
  • low calcium or magnesium - this is very rare
  • stillbirth - there may be a slightly higher risk than normal

Page last reviewed: 28/03/2019
Next review due: 28/03/2022