Reproductive System - CDM


  • Women with DM1 can have a complicated pregnancy, labor, and delivery, including premature delivery or prolonged labor that can have impact on the newborn.

  • The baby may be born with congenital-onset DM1, with severe neonatal complications, including respiratory and swallowing abnormalities.

  • Knowing if a pre-neonate has a risk of CDM also enables the parents and the obstetric team to prepare for the birth of a DM1-affected baby.


  • Babies with congenital-onset DM1 may have the following prenatal and neonatal signs of varying severity:

    • Swallowing difficulties, leading to polyhydramnios during pregnancy and poor feeding at birth, possibly requiring tube feeding.

    • Respiratory muscle abnormalities, possibly requiring mechanical ventilation at birth.

    • Poor muscle tone and lack of fetal movement.

    • Abnormal presentation.

    • Club foot or other joint problems.

    • Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body.

    • Enlarged ventricles in the brain.

    • Reduced fetal movement.


  • Discuss the following tests with your doctor:

    • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis to determine whether the embryo is affected.

    • Prenatal genetic diagnosis to determine if the fetus has the DM1 genetic expansion (see Genetic counseling).


  • High-risk obstetrician or neonatal specialist at delivery if the mother is affected.

  • Availability of neonatal intensive care, including possible tube feeding or ventilatory support.

  • Accces to neonatal and consulting specialists who can manage genetic, respiratory, GI, orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurosurgical, and cardiac issues.

  • Refer to pediatric neuromuscular multidisciplinary clinic on discharge from the neonatal unit to manage the many issues that children with CDM will encounter.