Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 4–15 | Cite as

Care of the Infant of the Diabetic Mother

Diabetes and Pregnancy (CJ Homko, Section Editor)


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) from all causes of diabetes is the most common medical complication of pregnancy and is increasing in incidence, particularly as type 2 diabetes continues to increase worldwide. Despite advances in perinatal care, infants of diabetic mothers (IDMs) remain at risk for a multitude of physiologic, metabolic, and congenital complications such as preterm birth, macrosomia, asphyxia, respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, hyperbilirubinemia, polycythemia and hyperviscosity, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and congenital anomalies, particularly of the central nervous system. Overt type 1 diabetes around conception produces marked risk of embryopathy (neural tube defects, cardiac defects, caudal regression syndrome), whereas later in gestation, severe and unstable type 1 maternal diabetes carries a higher risk of intrauterine growth restriction, asphyxia, and fetal death. IDMs born to mothers with type 2 diabetes are more commonly obese (macrosomic) with milder conditions of the common problems found in IDMs. IDMs from all causes of GDM also are predisposed to later-life risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Care of the IDM neonate needs to focus on ensuring adequate cardiorespiratory adaptation at birth, possible birth injuries, maintenance of normal glucose metabolism, and close observation for polycythemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and feeding intolerance.


Gestational diabetes Infant of diabetic mother Large for gestational age Pregnancy Hypoglycemia Hyperbilirubinemia Hypocalcemia Hypomagnesemia Polycythemia Hyperviscosity Continuous glucose monitoring Intrauterine growth restriction Preterm birth Caudal regression syndrome 



No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anschutz Medical Campus, F441, Perinatal Research CenterUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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