Diabetes complicates 6 to 7% of all pregnancies in the United States. Poor glycemic control is associated with multiple immediate and long-term adverse effects on both the mother and fetus. Although uniformity exists in the antenatal management of this disease, there is a paucity of evidence-based studies upon which to dictate the optimal time of delivery among affected women. The potential risks of delayed neonatal pulmonary maturation including respiratory distress syndrome and transient tachypnea of the newborn associated with early delivery must be balanced with the increased incidence of fetal demise, overgrowth, and birth injury related to diabetes in late gestations. Even among diabetic women with optimal glycemic control, the risk of stillbirth in the third trimester is considerably higher than their normal counterparts. The current paradigm of delaying delivery to 39 weeks in women with controlled and uncomplicated diabetes has been challenged by recent evidence advocating delivery by 38 weeks to improve perinatal outcomes. However, additional well-designed and adequately powered prospective studies are needed to better understand the short- and long-term implications of the optimal timing of delivery in this high-risk population. This article reviews the most current literature regarding the optimal timing of delivery in pregnancies complicated by diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes mellitus.
- timing of delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology