Sweet-toothed pregnant women could be putting their unborn babies at risk of being sugar-addicts when they're born.
Health experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warn that mums-to-be who consume high levels of sugar or those who have gestational diabetes, increase the risks of having a baby addicted to sugar and a host of other long-term medical conditions.
According to the experts, sugar-addicted babies are forced onto sugary drip just hours after they're born to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. These babies are also at higher risk of diabetes later on in life.
"A baby getting too much sugar is producing too much insulin. The minute it's born, effectively it is cut off from its mother’s sugar supply but keeps on making insulin because its sugar goes too low," says Patrick O’Brien from the RCOG.
"A baby getting too much sugar is producing too much insulin. The minute it's born, effectively it is cut off from its mother's sugar supply but keeps on making insulin because its sugar goes too low. Often these babies have to be fed early or more often they are put on a drip and given glucose."
Following on from recent statistics from Eurostat, almost half of British women of childbearing age are overweight and more than 15% of mums-to-be are obese.
However, gestational diabetes isn't always down to a high level of sugar consumption. It is also caused by hormone changes during the second or third trimester as the body tries to meet the demands of the growing baby, therefore forcing the body to produce two to three time more insulin. Gestational diabetes affects 3 to 5% of pregnancies in the UK and can be managed by diet and exercise and usually goes away post-birth.