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

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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.


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.


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.


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

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