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Blood test may reduce birth injuries from gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can result in a host of birth injuries, including pre-term labor, respiratory distress syndrome, and low blood sugar in newborns. Unfortunately, all too often, women's risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy is often higher regardless of how well they care for themselves. The good news is that Japanese researchers have been working on using a blood test that can determine which women may be at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes.

This new blood test helps doctors identify risks of gestational diabetes well before most women are tested, normally between weeks 24 and 28 of the pregnancy. It is also important to note that typically, mothers who are at high risk -- those over 25 years old, those with a body mass index exceeding 30, or those with familial history of diabetes -- are the only ones likely to be tested.

The risks of gestational diabetes are serious for both mother and baby. Long-term health problems may result from gestational diabetes. Babies who are born with low blood sugar may suffer seizures. An expectant mother may be forced to undergo a C-section because the baby has grown too big to pass safely through the birth canal. In addition, there is the potential that both mother and child may suffer with Type 2 diabetes after the birth.

When gestational diabetes remains undiagnosed, the resulting complications can be serious for both mother and infant. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the easier it is to treat and reduce the risk of birth injuries and complications. Mothers who were undiagnosed, suffered complications, or had an infant suffering from complications should consider contacting a personal injury attorney who understands medical malpractice law.

Source: Fox News "New blood test predicts gestational diabetes risk early in pregnancy,” Loren Grush, May 29, 2013

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