Pregnancy may trigger gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy) in a woman who was previously well but predisposed towards this disease. One of the reasons for regular antenatal visits to doctors and the urine tests taken at each visit is to detect diabetes at an early stage. If diabetes develops, the woman can be treated and controlled by diet, but often regular injections of insulin are required. In some cases, the diabetes will disappear after the pregnancy, but it often recurs in later years.
If the diabetes is not adequately controlled, serious consequences can result. In mild cases, the child may be born grossly overweight but otherwise be healthy. In more severe cases, the diabetes can cause a miscarriage, eclampsia, malformations of the foetus, urinary and kidney infections, fungal infections (thrush) of the vagina, premature labour, difficult labour, breathing problems in the baby after birth, or death of the baby within the womb. Diabetic women tend to have difficulty in falling pregnant, unless their diabetes is very well controlled.