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Help! Untreated gestational diabetes - what are the risks? Hoxtonchick?

(9 Posts)
edam Wed 23-Mar-05 22:41:57

My sister is 37 weeks and has just discovered that, despite being told repeatedly that she was OK, actually she has had gestational diabetes for something like 10 or 12 weeks.

If anyone knows what the possible impact on her or her baby is, I would be very grateful for any information.

I won't bore you with the full details of the stunning catalogue of incompetence – negligence – that led up to this, but both community and hospital midwives and hospital consultant and registrars all failed to notice the crucial test result and in fact misled by sister by insisting she was clear. Has only just been picked up by alert newly-qualified midwife - the same one who insisted they did the test in the first place. Plus she's currently seeing an incompetent obstetric registrar who can't read English (for instance, took 10 minutes to decipher the word impaired on a test result and then wrongly said everything was fine, failing to tell my sister she actually had diabetes and had a referral to a consultant in diabetes. Which she then missed, of course, given that she didn't know anything about it). My sister has been pressing them to monitor this very closely throughout pregnancy as she has polycystic ovary syndrome.

Thank you for reading this long post. I may not be able to get back on again until tomorrow morning (dh needs computer) but will pick up and appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.

edam Thu 24-Mar-05 10:04:40

Bump - please help, anyone?

soapbox Thu 24-Mar-05 10:20:00

Edam - I had gestational diabetes. The impact on baby is that he/she is likely to be very big - possibly making delivery harder for mum. Both mine were 9lbs 8oz but both nvds. However that was with managed diabetes - with unmanaged I imagine they could be a lot bigger.

When teh baby is born they will possibly have problems with low blood sugar. The baby is used to having high levels of insulin to cope with mums high blood sugar. When they are born the insulin level takes some time to drop and in that time they can have low blood sugar (like Misdees DD had recently). They will insist baby is fed very soon after delivery to keep blood sugar up - but may tube feed if mum doesn't manage to produce a decent amount of milk. Blood was taken and tested every hour for the forst 6 hours in my DCs cases and then every 4 hours. Your sis won't get out of hospital with babe until blood sugar has normalised. This can take a few days.

Provided babe's blood sugar is managed well immediately after birth then there should be no long health issues arising.

Mum may well be predisposed to diabetes and I was warned that late on set diabetes was a distinct likelihood. Thats one of the reasons I decided to lose weight - hopefully having lost 4 stones I helper reduce the risk substantially!!

Good luck for your sis!

hoxtonchick Thu 24-Mar-05 10:36:37

what an excellent answer soapbox . i've just rung edam & said almost exactly the same things. do let us know how she is edam. xxx

jane313 Thu 24-Mar-05 10:50:17

I had managed gestational diabetes. I was on insulin and it still didn't stop my baby being huge. (I was really healthy in the last 3 months too and didn't put on an ounce in weight!) He was 10lbs 9 oz, had an elective c/s 2 weeks early. His sugar levels were too low when born and needed cup feeding with formula and tube feeding with it too in the special care baby unit (for 24 hrs) until my milk came in and when he worked out how to latch on.

I think big babies who need food straight away are the only risks I was told about. I was told I should have a c/s or be induced. As he was so big (the scan I had 2 days before underestimated his weight by over a pound) they sort of advised the cs as they said the torso would be disproportionately big and his shoulders may get stuck.

The up side is that you get a lovely big baby with massive cheeks! I've seen a few photos of other babies like this and they do have a similar look!

I had a follow up glucose test 6 weeks later which I was ok (God knows how having spent the last months stuffing myself with chocolate).I have a family history of late onset diabetes so I was at risk anyway. Mine was picked up cos of that and also having a big baby in the first 14 wk scan. Then just before I was due to have a glucose tolerance test sugar appeared in my urine at a antenatal appointment. I took part on some research after and they said its pretty likey I will get it but by losing weight and being fit you can delay when you get it and this delay the more serious problems it can cause.

Marina Thu 24-Mar-05 10:54:09

No advice edam, you've had plenty good here, just to say sorry to hear this and hope your sis and the baby are OK.

edam Thu 24-Mar-05 13:27:10

Thank you so much for the replies, that is very reassuring. Am chasing every expert I can track down for info and will post any more detailed stuff I get in case is of use to any other MNrs.

Thank you again!

Poor sister is not only terrified re gestational diabetes but also being mucked around by benefits people who have finally said 'tough, starve, we don't have to pay you anything as you are a student nurse'. FFS. AND her cat has been run over and killed. Can't believe how much sh1t she is having to deal with all at once poor love.

misdee Thu 24-Mar-05 13:31:32

Make sure you sister has a growth scan ASAP, and they may wish to induce the birth in the next week or 2. best of luck and hugs to your sister. has she been given a testing kit?

hoxtonchick Sat 09-Apr-05 09:03:07

has she had the baby yet edam?

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