Maternal medical conditions during pregnancy and gross motor development up to age 24 months in the Upstate KIDS study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2016 Jul;58(7):728-34. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12947. Epub 2015 Oct 26.


Aim: We examined whether children of mothers with a medical condition diagnosed before or during pregnancy took longer to achieve gross motor milestones up to age 24 months.

Method: We obtained information on medical conditions using self-reports, birth certificates, and hospital records in 4909 mothers participating in Upstate KIDS, a population-based birth cohort. Mothers reported on their children's motor milestone achievement at 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 months of age.

Results: After adjustment for covariates (including pre-pregnancy body mass index), children of mothers with gestational diabetes took longer to achieve sitting without support (hazard ratio [HR]=0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.75-0.93), walking with assistance (HR=0.88, 95% CI 0.77-0.98), and walking alone (HR=0.88, 95% CI 0.77-0.99) than children of females with no gestational diabetes. Similar findings emerged for maternal diabetes. Gestational hypertension was associated with a longer time to achieve walking with assistance. These associations did not change after adjustment for gestational age or birthweight. Severe hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were related to a longer time to achieve milestones, but not after adjustment for perinatal factors.

Interpretation: Children exposed to maternal diabetes, gestational or pre-gestational, may take longer to achieve motor milestones than non-exposed children, independent of maternal obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Relations / physiology*
  • Mothers*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • New York
  • Preconception Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Self Report