If you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at increased risk of:
Excessive birth weight. If your blood sugar level is higher than the standard range, it can cause your baby to grow too large. Very large babies — those who weigh 9 pounds or more — are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, have birth injuries or need a C-section birth.
Early (preterm) birth. High blood sugar may increase the risk of early labor and delivery before the due date. Or early delivery may be recommended because the baby is large.
Serious breathing difficulties. Babies born early may experience respiratory distress syndrome — a condition that makes breathing difficult.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Sometimes babies have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia may cause seizures in the baby. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby's blood sugar level to normal.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Stillbirth. Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby's death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications that may affect you
Gestational diabetes may also increase your risk of:
High blood pressure and preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes raises your risk of high blood pressure, as well as preeclampsia — a serious complication of pregnancy that causes high blood pressure and other symptoms that can threaten both your life and your baby's life.
Having a surgical delivery (C-section). You're more likely to have a C-section if you have gestational diabetes.
Future diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you're more likely to get it again during a future pregnancy. You also have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as you get older.