Background: Infants born to diabetic women have certain distinctive characteristics, including large size and high morbidity risks. The neonatal mortality rate is over five times that of infants of non diabetic mothers and is higher at all gestational ages and birth weight for gestational age (GA) categories.The study aimed to determine morbidity and mortality pattern amongst infants of diabetic mothers (IDMS) admitted into the Special Care Baby Unit of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Methods: This was a study of prevalence of morbidity and mortality among IDMs carried out prospectively over a two year period. All IDMs (pregestational and gestational) admitted into the Unit within the period were recruited into the study.Data on delivery mode, GA, birth weight, other associated morbidities, investigation results, treatment, duration of hospital stay and outcome were collated and compared with those of infants of non diabetic mothers matched for GA and birth weight admitted within the same period. Maternal data were reviewed retrospectively. Data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0.
Results: Sixty percent of the IDMs were born to mothers with gestational diabetes, while 40% were born to mothers with pregestational DM. 38 (74.3%) were born by Caesarian section (CS), of which 20 (52.6%) were by emergency CS. There was no significant difference in emergency CS rates, when compared with controls, but non-IDMs were more likely to be delivered vaginally. The mean GA of IDMs was 37.84 weeks ± 1.88. 29 (61.7%) of them were macrosomic. The commonest morbidities were Hypoglycemia (significantly higher in IDMs than non-IDMs) and hyperbilirubinaemia in 30 (63.8%) and 26 (57.4%) respectively.There was no difference in morbidity pattern between infants of pre- gestational and gestational diabetic mothers. Mortality rate was not significantly higher in IDMs
Conclusions: The incidence of macrosomia in IDMs was high but high rates of emergency CS was not peculiar to them. Hypoglycaemia and hyperbilirubinaemia were the commonest morbidities in IDMs.Referring women with unstable metabolic control to specialized centers improves pre- and post- natal outcomes. Maternal-Infant centers for management of diabetes in pregnancy are advocated on a national scale to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.