Gestational diabetes affects certain at-risk women in mid- to late pregnancy. If left unmonitored or poorly treated by a physician, the condition can produce large babies who may have difficulty progressing down the birth canal. The effects of maternal gestational diabetes may even cause low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) in a newborn baby. According to the American Diabetes Association, gestational diabetes affects 18 percent of women during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes develops when a woman’s body can no longer make the extra insulin it needs for pregnancy. At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our attorney works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
The cause of gestational diabetes is unknown, but hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy may be a factor. Women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 or those with a close family history of diabetes are more at risk for developing the condition.
During pregnancy, the body may require up to three times as much insulin as it does in a nonpregnancy state. The placenta produces high levels of hormones that block the action of insulin. This causes blood glucose levels to rise, resulting in a condition called maternal hyperglycemia.
Risks To An Unborn Child
Your medical care providers are responsible for ensuring that you are accurately diagnosed and receive prompt and proper treatment all throughout pregnancy. Undetected or medically mismanaged cases of gestational diabetes can harm both mother and child.
When an expectant mother has gestational diabetes, excessive amounts of glucose pass through the placenta. As a result, your baby’s pancreas is forced to make extra insulin. This causes a condition called macrosomia, in which your baby becomes too large. Such babies are more likely to suffer brachial plexus (Erb’s palsy) or forceps injuries during birth or become wedged in the birth canal during a vaginal delivery. Cesarean sections are often necessary to deliver large babies safely.
Physician’s Failure To Monitor
If your physician failed to diagnose or to properly monitor or treat you for gestational diabetes, your baby may be at risk for infant respiratory distress syndrome shortly after birth. Your newborn may require the use of oxygen or even a breathing tube to breathe properly. In the next hours or days, a pediatrician will monitor your baby closely for these complications:
Infant hypoglycemia — High insulin levels in babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may cause the baby to develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) after birth. If left untreated or poorly monitored, hypoglycemia may lead to infant seizures, brain damage and learning problems.
Jaundice — Jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia is characterized by a yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes. It occurs when a baby’s liver hasn’t developed enough to break down bilirubin, a substance produced when the body recycles blood cells.
Should You See An Attorney Who Understands Gestational Diabetes Claims?
If you think your baby suffered injury or permanent disability due to gestational diabetes that was undetected or improperly treated, consult with our lawyer as soon as possible after your baby’s injury.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses related to the birth injury. Attorney Robert H. Kleinschmidt will assess your situation to determine if you have a case and advise you of your options under the law. Call our offices today at 480-951-3949 or contact us online for more information. From our Scottsdale offices, we provide representation to people throughout the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area.