What Pregnancy Complications could Type 1 Diabetes Cause

Type 1 diabetes in pregnancy can lead to serious complications that can harm both mother as well as unborn baby. Know how it can affect your pregnancy and get treated at the earliest.

Bushra Kafeel
PregnancyWritten by: Bushra KafeelPublished at: Aug 19, 2011Updated at: Nov 05, 2013
What Pregnancy Complications could Type 1  Diabetes Cause

If you are suffering from type1 diabetes and are rethinking about getting pregnant, then here is an insight on that for you. How could type 1 diabetes affect your pregnancy?


type 1 diabetes complications during pregnancy

Type 1 diabetes in pregnancy is totally different from the general one. The diabetic cells of the mother can harm her baby. Now because this pregnant mother is suffering from diabetes, the treatment would be slightly different. Here it is important to understand that both the mother and the baby are subjected to treatment and cure. Some of the complications of type 1 diabetes in pregnancy include:

Large Baby

If the mother’s diabetes is not controlled, the sugar level passes to the developing baby. The baby is overfed and grows extra large. Extra large size of baby causes discomfort to mother in the last weeks of pregnancy. In addition, it can also pose as a problem for mother and child during pregnancy. Baby may be born with nerve damage due to pressure on arms and the mother may need to undergo a C-section.

Preterm Birth

Diabetic women are more likely to deliver early than women without diabetes. Being born too early can result in problems for the baby, such as breathing problems, heart problems, bleeding into the brain, intestinal problems, and vision problems. Preterm babies usually develop.

Heart and Blood Vessel Disease

Pregnant women with type 1diabetes are more prone to high blood pressure than women who are not. High blood pressure harms both the mother and the unborn baby. Also diabetes can increase the risk of various cardiovascular problems that includes coronary artery disease with chestpain, heart attack and stroke.


Miscarriage and Still birth

A woman whose blood sugar level is not under control has higher chances of stillbirth (death of baby in mother’s womb) or miscarriage (loss of pregnancy in early stages of pregnancy). It is evident from various studies that type 1 diabetes greatly increases pregnancy complications. Incidence of still birth and baby’s death is four times greater for diabetic mothers.

Birth Defects

Babies born to diabetic women have two times greater risk of major birth defects. When blood sugar level of diabetic mother is not controlled it starts affecting the developing organs of baby. Heart and nervous systems disorders are common in such babies.

Need of C-section

Another complication of type 1 diabetes is that it increases the risk of C-section for delivery. Need of surgery arise because of large baby size. According to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), it is only 27 percent of women (without diabetes) that require C-section. Need of c-section increases to 37 percent in gestational diabetes and 45 percent in pre-gestational diabetes.

Kidney Damage

Your kidney contains millions of blood vessel clusters which are responsible for filtering the waste from your blood. When you have diabetes you tend to damage this filtering system. When kidney gets severely damaged, it can lead to its failure.

The long term complications of Type1 diabetes develop gradually, and over the years. The faster you start its treatment the better it is for you.

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