WEB DESK: The researchers reported that babies born with mothers having Gestational Diabetes likely to have more body fat after two months of birth, compared to those babies who are born to healthy mothers.
Gestational Diabetes also known as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), is a condition in which women exhibit high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy – most often in the second or third trimester. It results in a woman’s blood sugar levels becoming too high.
The findings of the researchers’ team revealed that babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes had no differences in body fat content at birth, but after two months they had 16 per cent more body fat compared to those born to healthy mothers.
“This new study suggests diabetes in the mother can trigger changes in the baby at a very early stage,” said Lead Author Karen Logan, Imperial College of London in Britain.
The report also says that babies born to the mother’s with GDM have high risk of developing diabetes in adulthood.
‘Changes in the baby’s metabolism while in the womb – or even differences in the composition of breast milk in mothers with gestational diabetes can be some of the reasons behind the differences’, the researchers said in the paper published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Gestational Diabetes usually strikes when the mother is 7 months pregnant thus resulting in mother’s high blood sugar level. The other factors have also been identified such as excess weight and genetic predisposition.
After giving birth to the baby, the issue of GDM resolves but may elevate the woman risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.
“The majority of babies in our study were breastfed, and previous studies have suggested that diabetes may cause changes in breast milk – so that it contains more sugar, fat or different levels of compounds that control appetite, called hunger hormones,” added Neena Modi, Professor at Imperial College of London.
The research was conducted with 86 mothers. The scientists scanned 42 babies whose mothers were diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and 44 babies born to mothers without the condition, as a healthy control group.
With the help of MRI scanning, the researchers team measured body fat in the babies. They took these readings shortly after birth, and again when the babies were eight to 12 weeks old.