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An infant of a diabetic mother is a baby born to a mother who has diabetes. The phrase specifically refers to a baby who is born to a mother who had persistently high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy.
High blood sugar levels in pregnant women often have specific effects on their infants. Infants born to mothers who have diabetes are generally larger than other babies. They may have large organs, particularly the liver, adrenal glands, and heart.
These infants may have episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because of increased insulin. Insulin is a substance that moves sugar (glucose) from the blood into body tissues. The infant will need close monitoring of blood sugar levels.
There is an increased chance that mothers with poorly controlled diabetes will have a miscarriage or stillborn child. If the mother was diagnosed with diabetes before the pregnancy, her infant also has an increased risk of having birth defects if the disease is not well controlled.
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