Mother with gestational diabetes delivers 16-pound baby

The birth of a 16-pound child delivered by a woman with gestational diabetes in Texas sparked nationwide attention.

While some people have reveled at the large infant, others have highlighted the story of his birth as an example of the complications that can occur when a pregnant woman develops gestational diabetes.

A recent article published by ABC News reported that doctors induced the baby's delivery a week before the due date, expecting the newborn to weight about 12 or 13 pounds.

The news provider explained that women with uncontrolled gestational diabetes often give birth to overweight babies because the infants are exposed to extra glucose calories in utero.

"While infants of diabetic mothers are large in size, their organ function is not more developed. In fact, their lung development may be delayed. Early delivery can lead to respiratory problems for the newborn," said Dr. Manuel Porto, a professor and chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at Irvine, quoted by the news source.

The news organization said that the baby, named JaMichael, was born with underdeveloped lungs and low blood sugar. Some doctors who talked to ABC attributed the latter condition to the fact that babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may be used to producing more insulin in order to compensate for their high blood sugar levels. When blood glucose levels decrease after delivery, excess insulin may lead to hypoglycemia, they explained.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 4 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. develop gestational diabetes.

The organization explains that treatment for this condition often involves a diabetic diet and insulin injections.

While a woman's blood sugar levels may return to normal after delivery, two out of every three mothers with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later in life, the ADA states. For this reason, many physicians recommend that females who have experienced gestational diabetes stick to their diabetic diet and exercise regimen even after pregnancy.