Definition of Infant of diabetic mother
An infant of a diabetic mother is a baby born to a mother who has diabetes. The phrase specifically refers to a baby who is born to a mother who had persistently high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
High blood sugar levels in pregnant women often have specific effects on their infants. Infants born to mothers who have diabetes are generally larger than other babies. They may have large organs, particularly the liver, adrenal glands, and heart.
The infant is usually large for gestational age. Other symptoms may include:
Signs and tests
An ultrasound performed on the mother in the last few months of pregnancy shows that the baby is large for gestational age.
All infants who are born to mothers with diabetes should be tested for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), even if they have no symptoms.
Better control of diabetes and early recognition of gestational diabetes has decreased the number and severity of problems in infants born to mothers with diabetes. Usually, an infant’s symptoms go away within a few weeks. However, an enlarged heart may take several months to get better.
Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/10/2009