Omega-3, big babies and gestational diabetes


Macrosomia (which affects up to 10% of deliveries) is one of the consequences of gestational diabetes (that develops during pregnancy when the body is not able to make enough insulin). The term macrosomia is used to describe a newborn who’s significantly larger than average (that is to say, he/she weighs more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces [4,000 grams]), regardless of his or her gestational age. Having a large baby can increase the risk of injury to the mother or baby during delivery: the mother may experience increased perineal tearing, blood loss, or damage to the tailbone, and has a greater probability of a Cesarean delivery; and the baby may experience shoulder dystocia during birth (shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s head is delivered through the vagina, but his shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s body). Besides, adulthood obesity can results from macrosomia at birth: there is an association between birth weight and long-term risk of obesity; children with macrosomia may need diet and exercise interventions to prevent childhood, teen and adult obesity.

Animal studies have shown that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids contributes to the maintenance of the immune defense system in diabetic pregnancy.



Yessoufou A, Nekoua MP, Gbankoto A et al. Beneficial Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Gestational Diabetes: Consequences in Macrosomia and Adulthood Obesity. J Diabetes Res. 2015;2015:731434. Epub 2015 Apr 16.


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