More Pregnant Women Getting Diabetes

Dr. William Biggs
Dr. William Biggs

More expectant mothers apparently have diabetes. New research suggests the number of pregnant women with diabetes has more than doubled in the last seven years.

A diabetes specialist says he is diagnosing a growing number of pregnant women in his office as well. Not only that, but he is seeing a surprising number of young women with diabetes come through his office, a major reason why more pregnancies are plagued by the disease.

Dr. William Biggs says, "if the mother has diabetes, it increases the chance of birth defects in the child."

Babies are susceptible to birth defects like congenital heart problems, spinabifida, central nervous system problems and ending up with extra fingers or toes.

The health risks for the mother include heavier babies, which increases the chance for a cesarean section.  She also could encounter heart and kidney problems later in life.

Dr. Biggs says less physical activity and more calories consumed lead to obesity, the main factor in developing diabetes. Now, overweight women are encouraged to lose weight before even becoming pregnant.