Newborn health 'affected by mother's weight and blood sugar'

Expectant mothers who are slightly overweight and have a higher than average blood glucose level have been shown to have an increased risk of bad pregnancy outcomes.

In new maternal and newborn health research, scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine demonstrated that these combined medical conditions can result in more adverse pregnancies than those of women who are either obese or have gestational diabetes.

Principle investigator Boyd Metzger explained that healthcare professionals need to be aware of the risks and manage them with as much care as they do for pregnant women who are diabetic or significantly overweight.

One of the main pregnancy complications which arose during the study of these mothers was the birth of large babies, which increase the risk of injury for the infant during vaginal delivery and makes Caesarean section more likely.

The research also found that a newborn's risk of childhood diabetes can also be influenced by their mother's weight and blood sugar concentrations.