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Obese and Diabetic Pregnant Women More Likely to Develop Larger Babies in Early Stages of Pregnancy

Apr 11, 2016 03:40 AM EDT

A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Cambridge aimed to know which stage of pregnancy is associated with the rapid fetal growth.

According to a report from UPI, it has been known by doctors that abnormally large babies are most likely to be born out of obese and diabetic mothers.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, revealed that expecting mothers with obesity or gestational diabetes often have their babies to be overly large in the early stages of pregnancy.

For the study, researchers measured the fetal abdominal circumference and head circumference of more than 4,000 first-time mothers using ultrasound.

Researchers also tested the expecting mothers for gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, is a type of diabetes that is developed during pregnancy and can usually be diagnosed during late pregnancy.

Out of the 4,069 expecting mothers, 171, or 4.2 percent, were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during or beyond their 28th week.

The researchers found that the fetuses of pregnant women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes are abnormally large before being diagnosed.

This suggests that the fetuses of women with gestational diabetes were already rapidly growing before the usual time of screening.

Due to the high risk that complications related to gestational diabetes can give to the mother and her baby, Dr. Ulla Sovio from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Cambridge suggests that taking an earlier screening test may help improve the outcome for the baby and mother.

Researchers also studied the connection between obesity during pregnancy and the development of a large baby.

They have discovered that obese women, with no gestational diabetes, are more likely to be twice larger at 28 weeks.

Science 2.0 reported that there is five times more risk of excessive fetal growth by the 28-week scan when an obese mother develops gestational diabetes.

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