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  4.  – Diagnosing gestational diabetes

Diagnosing gestational diabetes

Women who seek prenatal care in Oregon must rely on a timely and accurate diagnosis of an adverse health condition to make the difference between keeping mom and baby safe and healthy, or having either or both of their lives at risk. One potentially dangerous maternal health condition is gestational diabetes. It is not an uncommon condition. 

Gestational diabetes arises when a mother’s body does not make enough insulin for her own body and her baby’s body. A woman who is gestationally diabetic may not present symptoms that a non-gestationally diabetic person might have. However, the typical obstetrician or midwife usually orders a test to determine if a pregnant woman has this condition.  

Routine tests for gestational diabetes are performed nowadays 

 Routine tests are performed between the 24th and 27th week of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. The following list includes risks that might be present to a mother or baby when this condition occurs: 

  • Large birth weight, perhaps too large to fit through birth canal 
  • Baby born prematurely, often with breathing trouble 
  • Baby born with low blood sugar 
  • Moms and babies are both at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life 
  • Baby at risk for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (oxygen deprivation brain injury) 

Thankfully, OB-GYNs and midwives know what to do to help prevent birth injuries when a woman is gestationally diabetic. Treatment and monitoring might include testing glucose levels daily, adjusting diet or injecting insulin.  

What if a doctor or midwife fails to diagnose the condition? 

A mother’s or baby’s health may become at risk if an OB-GYN or midwife fails to diagnose gestational diabetes. A simple test identifies the problem. If a birth injury occurs in an Oregon birthing center or hospital due to a failure to diagnose gestational diabetes or some other adverse health condition, the parents or guardians of the infant may seek full financial accountability from those who are believed responsible for damages.