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Undiagnosed gestational diabetes poses threat to mothers, infants

When expecting a new family member, North Carolina parents often take several steps  to make sure they are ready for the big day. Although many things are within grasp of expecting parents, such as building a nursery or arranging daycare, other things are not. This is why many women expect their obstetricians to be on the look out for various pregnancy complications.

Gestational diabetes is among the medical conditions that can develop during pregnancy. Fortunately, the condition can be diagnosed and treated. However, if doctors don't take the right steps to catch it, this form of diabetes can inflict injury on mothers and their children.

There are a number of common characteristics that precede gestational diabetes, including a family history of diabetes, previous gestational diabetes diagnoses, a baby weighing more than nine pounds and being pregnant when 25 or older. These are a few things doctors can consider and determine if a test is necessary.

If doctors fail to conduct the proper diagnostic tests, untreated gestational diabetes can lead to a number of medical complications. In addition to increasing the chances of needing a cesarean section, this condition can also cause preeclampsia and hypertenstion, which can be damaging for mothers and their babies.

Doctors have a responsibility to use good judgment when dealing with patients. Expecting mothers rely on their doctors' knowledge and skills to better ensure that their child will be brought into the world without major concerns. This is why it's important to ensure that doctors do everything they can to reduce the risks associated with pregnancy-related injuries.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Why Women Get Diabetes During Pregnancy," Yvette C. Terrie, May 4, 2013

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