Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Early growth retardation in diabetic pregnancy.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 06 January 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:18
  1. J F Pedersen,
  2. L Mølsted-Pedersen


    Thirty-five insulin-dependent diabetic women with reliable menstrual histories were examined by ultrasonic scanning in the 7th-14th weeks of pregnancy. Judged from crown-to-rump length the fetuses were on average 5.4 days smaller than those in a local normal series. Ten of the fetuses were nine days or more smaller than normal and had a lower mean birth weight than the others, though the mean gestational age was similar. Maternal diabetes was not more severe in this group, but only two of the mothers had attended a special hospital for control of their disease as compared with 19 of the remainder. Although babies of diabetic mothers are often overweight, there appears to be a subgroup of cases in which fetal growth is retarded early in pregnancy, leading to low birth weight and possibly a higher incidence of congenital malformations.