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May 7, 2007


Question from Temperanceville, Virginia, USA:

Five years ago, I gave birth to a 10 pound, 5.4 oz baby. Healthy but big, she has continued to be big. Last year, we discovered that I am insulin resistant. I am wondering if my child may be as well. Could I have passed it on to her while I was pregnant? I have three older children, one being 14 months older than her and they were 7 and 8 pounders. She was, and remains, the heaviest of the kids. Could she be insulin resistant as well?


From: DTeam Staff

Most research suggest that, you, as the mother of a very large baby, are not only insulin resistant but at higher risk for developing diabetes. About the only thing that you can do and have some control over – since one cannot control one’s genetic material – is to work hard to not be overweight, avoid excess calories and exercise daily since both these “treatments” allow your body to not need so much insulin. This may potentially hold off the development of frank diabetes. The big baby is “caused” by the fetus’ normal pancreas responding to maternal provided higher sugar (glucose) levels and insulin acting like growth hormone on the developing fetus. There are other metabolic “memorized” factors also passed on to the future, but we are not exactly clear about how all those work at the moment.