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

Risks to you

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: 5 July 2023
Next review due: 5 July 2026