Motor Developmental Outcomes in Children Exposed to Maternal Diabetes during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.


Arabiat D(1)(2), Jabery MA(3), Kemp V(1), Jenkins M(1), Whitehead LC(1), Adams G(4).
Author information:
(1)School of Nursing and Midwifery, Edith Cowan University, Perth 6027, Australia.
(2)Maternal and Child Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan.
(3)Counselling and Special Education Department, Faculty of Educational Sciences, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan.
(4)Queen's Medical Centre, School of Health Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2HA, UK.


Studies on the association of maternal diabetes with motor development in children provide inconsistent findings. We searched MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Emcare, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar databases for primary observational, case-control, or cohort studies that report on the motor development of children exposed to maternal diabetes during pregnancy. Quality appraisal and data extraction were performed independently and in duplicate. A meta-analysis of summary measures was performed using random-effect models. Eighteen studies were identified for inclusion, however, only 13 were included in the meta-analysis. Exposure to maternal diabetes during pregnancy was associated with a lower pooled motor development in children and a decrease in both gross and fine motor development. Among all other factors, pre-existing diabetes and other gestational comorbidities, such as hypertension and obesity, or low socioeconomic status, also affect child development. Therefore, among children of diabetic mothers, those with other gestational comorbidities or pre-existing diabetes were more likely to be at risk developmentally.