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Giving Birth With Gestational Diabetes

When a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes, it is possible that her unborn baby will become very large. It is therefore vitally important that the pregnancy is closely monitored, as in some cases it may be inappropriate to proceed with a vaginal delivery.

Will the baby be too big to give birth vaginally?

Gestational diabetes can result in your unborn baby being very big for its gestational age. This is known as macrosomia. It occurs because the mother has too much glucose in her blood, and this excess is then passed onto to the foetus. This causes a hormone called insulin to be produced which enables glucose to enter the cells. This promotes growth, resulting in an unusually large baby. Generally speaking, a 'large' baby will weigh 8.8lbs (4kg) or more.

Macrosomia will not happen in every case of gestational diabetes. But if it does occur, medical professionals must take care to manage the situation appropriately. This is because a large baby can result in complications when giving birth vaginally. It may lead to shoulder dystocia (where the baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone) or a severe perineal tear.

If it is possible that such complications will arise because of macrosomia, doctors should discuss the risks with the expectant mother and suggest whether or not a caesarean section might be advisable. Usually this will be proposed if a baby is thought to weigh around 10lbs or more. Alternatively it might be suitable to induce the labour before the pregnancy reaches term.

Should you have had a caesarean section?

However, if medical professionals fail to assess the size of the unborn baby, and/or fail to recommend a caesarean section, the level of care will be called into question. Indeed, neglecting to effectively manage gestational diabetes or prevent known risks from occurring is considered unacceptable. If the mother or baby consequently sustains an injury because of this negligence, there could be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

Speak to a medical negligence solicitor

If you think you should have been offered a caesarean section because of gestational diabetes, you need to speak to a legal expert. A solicitor who specialises in medical negligence will be able to advise whether or not you should have undergone a C-section because your baby was large for its gestational age. If so, you will be entitled to pursue a claim for the injuries you have suffered this may include, for example, a third or fourth degree tear. Should your claim be successful, you will be awarded compensation for the unnecessary pain and suffering you have endured.

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