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Diabetic Moms' Babies Have Impared Sucking Reflexes

Posted: Thursday, January 04, 2007

Immature sucking patterns are often seen in infants whose mothers developed diabetes during pregnancy and had to be treated with insulin, new research indicates.

On the other hand, babies of mothers with diabetes that was managed with a careful diet do not seem to have impaired sucking reflexes.

The findings suggest that the nervous system of newborns of insulin-treated diabetic mothers is less mature than that of babies born to healthy mothers, the researchers say. Diet-managed diabetes is a milder condition than insulin-managed diabetes and, therefore, the impact on sucking behavior is probably smaller, they add.

Dr. Ruben Bromiker, from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and colleagues used a standard sucking apparatus to study sucking patterns in 16 infants born to mothers with insulin-managed diabetes, 31 born to mothers with diet-controlled diabetes, and a comparison 'control' group of 55 born to non-diabetic mothers.

Newborns of insulin-treated mothers displayed significantly fewer bursts and sucks, the main components of sucking patterns, than control infants. Other aspects of sucking, such as maximum pressure, did not differ significantly between the groups, the investigators note in the Journal of Pediatrics.

No differences in sucking behavior were noted between newborns of diet-managed diabetics and control infants, the investigators found.



Source: Diabetes In Control: Journal of Pediatrics, November 2006

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