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Health concern: diabetes diagnosis, treatment in pregnant women

The final stages of pregnancy – i.e., labor and delivery – are a dangerous time for the mother and baby. When things go wrong, it may cause severe injuries to the baby or mom (or both). For instance, failure to recognize and treat signs of fetal distress, and failure to timely determine that a C-section is necessary, may cause oxygen deprivation, which in turn may cause cerebral palsy.

It should also be noted, however, that a birth injury often results when a doctor fails to timely diagnose or treat a harmful condition – such as diabetes – well in advance of a delivery date.

A recent study indicates that the rates for gestational and pregestational diabetes have significantly increased in recent years, spelling troubling prospects for many pregnant women and their babies. The reason why: diabetes carries great risks for both mothers and their babies, which are especially dangerous when the disease is not timely diagnosed and treated.

Women with either form of diabetes, for example, have a greater risk than otherwise healthy pregnant women for requiring a C-section delivery and suffering from high blood pressure (“preeclampsia”) and other serious health problems.

Pregestational diabetes is commonly associated with high-risk pregnancies, as well as with babies who are born with birth defects.

Diabetes can be routinely diagnosed through testing. It is essential that pregnant women are properly and timely examined for the disease, especially given the dire results that can ensue if they are not.