Prenatal Smoking a Risk Factor for Developing Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) usually occurs with women in pregnancy who have never had diabetes. It’s often marked by high blood sugar levels and low insulin production, and these changes can affect how a woman’s body processes and uses sugar. Usually, women who experience GD will see their blood sugar return to normal after delivery, but these women are also at a high risk of developing Type II diabetes. 


When gestational diabetes is managed throughout pregnancy, it is likely that the baby will be healthy. However, problems can arise if the condition is left unmanaged including excessive birth weight, pre-term birth, development of Type 2 diabetes later in the child, and hypoglycemia.  


Some risk factors for developing GDM are obesity, lack of physical activity, race, polycystic ovary syndrome, and previous GDM or prediabetes. According to a recent study by Bar-Zeev and colleagues, smoking prior to pregnancy should also be considered a risk factor. Smoking and smoking cessation is known to increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the non-pregnant population, but it has also been linked to GDM.  


Data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System over a period of six years was analyzed to determine if there was an association between smoking and gestational diabetes. The researchers found that regardless of weight gain or pre-pregnancy BMI, smoking led to higher rates of GDM. “Prenatal smoking is associated with higher odds of GDM, after adjusting for known risk factors, and stratifying by prepregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain" (Bar-Zeev et al, 2020). Smoking while pregnant showed even higher rates of GDM, which is just another reason to encourage smoking cessation during pregnancy.  


If medical professionals failed to test you for GD or failed to manage your case properly, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or those to your newborn. To ask questions and learn more about how to proceed with a birth injury lawsuit, call the experienced team at the Holton Law Firm. You can reach us at 888-443-4387. 


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