Diabetes that strikes during pregnancy can lead to overweight fetuses and difficult deliveries. In the United States, most women who develop gestational diabetes, a temporary form of the disease, are told to limit caloric intake and to monitor their blood sugar. Some even get insulin shots. But not all doctors opt to treat the condition, citing inconsistent evidence that the measures make any difference.
Caroline A. Crowther of the University of Adelaide in Australia and her colleagues now report that close monitoring of blood sugar, diet counseling, and insulin treatment as needed for women with gestational diabetes reduce the chance of birth complications. This approach also lessened risk of postpartum depression.
"This is the first piece of really solid evidence that treating gestational diabetes can make a difference," says diabetes specialist Caren G. Solomon of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who didn't participate in the trial.