Dr Mercy Luka, a general physician, says gestational diabetes can cause premature birth.
In an interview with the press in Abuja, Luka warned pregnant women to avoid diabetes.
She defined gestational diabetes to mean form of high blood sugar that can affect pregnant women.
According to her, this happens because the body cannot produce enough insulin.
Insulin is a hormone important in controlling blood glucose.
“Extra insulin is needed in pregnancy but some people’s body is more resistant to that usual insulin as the result of that blood sugar levels go up,’’ she said.
She said gestational diabetes starts during pregnancy and stops after the baby is born.
The physician said that gestational diabetes can cause serious problems, especially if it goes unrecognised.
Luka said that if a pregnant woman develops diabetes she needs to monitor it carefully and control her level of blood glucose to reduce these risks of premature birth.
According to her, gestational diabetes usually occurs in the second half of pregnancy but can arise earlier.
She said the diabetes can also expose the baby to high level blood sugar levels if it is not well controlled.
“When the baby is exposed to high blood sugar levels it affects both the mother and the baby at the time of birth and after the birth.
The baby usually become larger than other baby and during the labour the mother will suffer and the baby too, some babies die in the process, eating a balanced meal will help you,’’ she said.
She added that the baby may also be at risk of becoming obese and may have the risk of developing diabetes later in life.