Women who develop type 2 diabetes before pregnancy are at risk for birth complications

According to Canadian researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Women's College Hospital, nearly 50 percent of women who have type 2 diabetes before pregnancy have a potentially avoidable Caesarean section. Complications during pregnancy are becoming more common among women who develop diabetes during childbearing age.

"With more women having babies later in life, we are seeing a greater number of women getting pregnant with diabetes," said researcher Lorraine Lipscombe. "The study found that having diabetes before pregnancy significantly increases the risk of pregnancy and fetal complications."

The study revealed that 45 percent of female diabetics are having C-sections, compared to 27 percent of women who do not have the disease.

Individuals who have diabetes before pregnancy are more likely to have a child with fetal complications, and the rate of stillbirths is higher among this subset of patients.

Lipscombe and her colleagues say that preventative measures - such as controlling levels of blood glucose and high blood pressure at the time of conception and throughout pregnancy - can significantly reduce the risk of complications in both the mother and her child.