They Say: Treating Diabetes Prevents C-Sections


pregnantbellyDoctors already know treating gestational diabetes is going to help reduce a woman’s risk that she’ll develop Type 2 diabetes. But now they’ve found simple treatments may ward of C-sections and a range of health problems for baby.

In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists map out a plan for reducing the risk of fetal overgrowth (aka high birthweight), shoulder dystocia and hypertensive disorders. And by lowering the baby’s birthweight, they’ll be lowering the chance that a pregnant mom will need to deliver via C-section too.

Studying close to one thousand women from the twenty-fourth to thirty-first week of pregnancy on, researchers randomly assigned women with mild gestational diabetes to either undergo normal pre-natal treatment or to adjust their diets, monitor glucose levels and for some use insulin therapies. The key here is mild gestational diabetes – women with severe forms have always been considered at risk, but until now the affects of the milder forms on a fetus were unknowns for doctors.

According to Dr. Mark Landon of Ohio State University, lead author of the study, ninety percent of the women fared better with simple diet modification – only seven percent required insulin. And the treatment cut in half the number of babies born “too large,” in addition to cutting the number of C-sections.

Did your doc suggest diet modification when your glucose tested high?

More by this author: