Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Normal Blood Sugar Level In Pregnancy

How To Monitor Your Blood Glucose Levels

Blood Glucose Levels During Pregnancy: How low is too low?

Watch this film from Diabetes UK or read the instructions below.


There is less sensation in the sides of your fingers than the tips or the underneath. Try to prick the side of your finger, near the tip.

To monitor your glucose, you will be given a blood glucose monitor. This is designed for you to measure your own blood glucose levels at home, or wherever you happen to be, by checking a drop of your blood. You produce the blood by using a finger pricker.

To monitor your glucose, you will be given a blood glucose monitor. This is designed for you to measure your own blood glucose levels at home, or wherever you happen to be, by checking a drop of your blood. You produce the blood by using a finger pricker.

There are many different brands of meter on the market, but they all work in similar ways:

Step 1 Wash your hands.

Step 2 Set up a finger pricker with a clean needle.

Step 3 Insert one end of a test strip into the meter.

Step 4 Use the finger pricker to prick the side of your finger.

Step 5 When a spot of blood appears where you pricked you finger, place it onto the end of the testing strip that is sticking out of the meter to transfer the blood.

Step 6 After a few seconds, the meter will display your blood glucose level.

Step 7 Clean the blood off your finger.

Step 8 Record the results in your blood glucose diary or diabetes journal, or you may have a phone app that you use.

Step 9 Throw away the test strip.

How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect Pregnancy

If left untreated, the high blood sugar levels associated with gestational diabetes can lead to various issues during pregnancy, such as:

  • Giving birth to a large baby , increasing the risk of injury during birth for both the baby and the mother. The chances of requiring a Caesarean section also increase at high birth weights.

  • Increased risk of miscarriage, birth defects, and stillbirths.

  • High blood pressure, which can harm both long-term and short-term health.

  • Preeclampsia, a rare complication characterized by high blood pressure with possible kidney or liver damage.

During Labour And Delivery

The aim with labour and delivery is to have a normal labour and vaginal delivery if possible. However, because you have diabetes, your medical team will be keen to avoid any problems developing during delivery for either you or the baby.

Women with diabetes have a higher chance of needing a caesarean section than women without diabetes. Also labour may need to be induced if your baby is becoming large or your pregnancy is going over term .

You will almost certainly need to go onto an I.V. drip during labour. The drip will have one bottle containing glucose and another bottle containing insulin. The rates of these drips will be changed according to your blood glucose levels. Your blood glucose levels will be checked at least every hour.

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Basis For The Currently Recommended Therapeutic Targets

The current clinical recommendations for treatment targets in pregnancies complicated by diabetes are not uniform internationally or primarily based on the studies listed in Table 1. Although the therapeutic targets were chosen to attenuate the risk for fetal macrosomia, they have never been prospectively tested compared with lower targets . Even when current glucose targets are achieved in the pregnancy affected by diabetes, macrosomia still occurs and in utero programming may have a lasting metabolic impact on the offspring .

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How May Gestational Diabetes Affect The Baby

What Are The Side Effects Of High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy ...

During pregnancy, nutrients from the womans bloodstream fuel the babys growth. With gestational diabetes, an expectant womans high blood glucose can cause the baby to absorb more glucose than it needs. This excess glucose can be stored as additional fat, which can lead to complications at birth and later in life. Other effects include:

  • Heavier than average birthweight . The extra weight could cause shoulder damage during birth.

  • Low blood glucose levels due to the extra insulin the babys body produces before birth.

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Higher risk of childhood obesity.

  • Higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as an adult.

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What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal blood values for a 3-hour 100-gram oral glucose tolerance test are:

  • Fasting: greater than 95 mg/dL
  • 1 hour: greater than 180 mg/dL
  • 2 hour: greater than 155 mg/dL
  • 3 hour: greater than 140 mg/dL


Abnormal blood values for a 2-hour 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test are:

  • Fasting: greater than 92 mg/dL
  • 1 hour: greater than 180 mg/dL
  • 2 hour: greater than 153 mg/dL

If only one of your blood glucose results in the oral glucose tolerance test is higher than normal, your provider may simply suggest you change some of the foods you eat. Then, your provider may test you again after you have changed your diet.

If more than one of your blood glucose results is higher than normal, you have gestational diabetes.

Is 120 Blood Sugar Normal During Pregnancy

Once pregnant, typical goals for sugar levels are morning fasting sugars of 70-90 mg/dl and 1 hour after meal sugars < 120 mg/dl. HA1c levels should be as close to normal as possible.

Can a diabetic mom have a healthy baby?

If youve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, but the goal is to immediately start managing your blood glucose levels closely with a glucometer as soon you become aware of the issue, explains Smith.

Can you get rid of gestational diabetes while pregnant?

If youre a pregnant woman who never had any sort of diabetes before you became pregnant, and developed high blood sugar only after becoming pregnant , you can safely eliminate it all by yourself within two to three weeks.

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Get Tested After Pregnancy

Diabetes should be tested every 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born and every 1 to 3 years. Most women with gestational diabetes recover quickly after giving birth. Type 2 diabetes occurs if high blood sugar levels persist for long. Even if diabetes resolves after the baby is born, half of all pregnant women develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Therefore, it is essential for a woman who has had gestational diabetes to continue exercising and eating a healthy diet after pregnancy to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

Dr Gupta concludes, “Close blood sugar monitoring, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining the correct weight will all positively contribute to the outcome of the pregnancy and the health of the mother and her baby now and in the future.”

How To Reduce Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

If you neglect your body and make it a haven for unwanted glucose in it then for sure youre inviting risks both to you and your baby. Anything more and anything less than the needed sugar levels in the body during pregnancy invites unwanted complications warns the doctors. To reduce blood sugar levels knowing risk factors is important and the risk factors include

  • Overweight which means having a body mass index above 30.
  • Aged 25 or above.
  • Delivered a baby weighed above 9 pounds.
  • Having a high glucose level in blood and urine.
  • The family has type 2 diabetes history.
  • You previously had gestational diabetes.

Check for these risk factors and if needed consult your family doctor and take necessary screening tests. Based on his/her advice follow the stipulated advice in addition to knowing what to eat and not to eat. Have a proper diet plan in addition to being physically active. This way you can reduce additional sugar levels.

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How Do I Prepare For A Glucose Tolerance Test

If you fail your glucose screening, your pregnancy care provider will suggest a second test to diagnose gestational diabetes. This test is similar, but lasts longer and requires more blood draws.

Your pregnancy care provider will give you specific eating instructions before your test. The instructions may include:

  • Eating at least 150 milligrams of carbohydrates per day for three days before testing.
  • Restricting all food and drink for at least eight to 12 hours before the test. Drinking a few sips of water the morning of the test is usually OK.
  • Scheduling your test for first thing in the morning.

Its important to note, its possible to fail your glucose screening but pass a glucose tolerance test.

Who’s At Risk Of Gestational Diabetes

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you’re at an increased risk if:

  • your body mass index is above 30 use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI
  • you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg or more at birth
  • you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • 1 of your parents or siblings has diabetes
  • you are of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin

If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.

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When Does A Person Need To Have Their Blood Glucose Measured With This Test

Prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes often have no symptoms at first. A person can have the condition and not know it. Healthcare providers usually order a fasting blood sugar test:

  • As part of a standard annual physical examination to monitor a persons blood glucose over time.
  • For pregnant women to ensure that pregnancy hormones are not causing diabetes.
  • When a person has symptoms of diabetes, a family history of diabetes or risk factors for diabetes .
  • When a person has had a previous blood glucose level that was higher than normal.

Gestational Diabetes And Pregnancy

How To Control Blood Sugar: how to lower the sugar level during pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Some women have more than one pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the middle of pregnancy. Doctors most often test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Often gestational diabetes can be managed through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.

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Diet And Exercise For Gestational Diabetes

Take these simple steps to stay healthy:

Eat a healthy, low-sugar diet. Talk to your doctor to be sure youâre getting the nutrition you need. Follow a meal plan made for someone with diabetes:

  • Trade sugary snacks like cookies, candy, and ice cream for natural sugars like fruits, carrots, and raisins. Add vegetables and whole grains, and watch your portion sizes.
  • Have three small meals along with two or three snacks about the same times every day.
  • Get 40% of your daily calories from carbs and 20% from protein. Most of the carbs should be complex, high-fiber carbs, with fat being between 25% and 40%.
  • Aim for 20-35 grams of fiber a day. Foods such as whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta brown or wild rice oatmeal and vegetables and fruits will help get you there.
  • Limit your total fat to less than 40% of your daily calories. Saturated fat should be less than 10% of all the calories you eat.
  • Eat a variety of foods to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals. You may need to take a supplement to cover your bases. Ask your doctor if they think you should take one.

Exercise throughout your pregnancy. You can exercise when you have gestational diabetes as long as your doctor says itâs OK. Being active is a good way to help manage your blood sugar. Staying fit during pregnancy is also good for your posture and can curb some common problems, like backaches and fatigue.

What Is The Normal Range For A Three

For a three-hour glucose tolerance test:

  • Fasting blood sugar levels should be lower than 95 mg/dL.
  • After one hour, blood sugar levels should be lower than 180 mg/dL.
  • After two hours, blood sugar levels should be lower than 155 mg/dL.
  • After three hours, blood sugar levels should be lower than 140 mg/dL.

Keep in mind, your provider may have a slightly different normal range. Generally speaking, if your blood sugar is elevated in at least two of your results, your provider will diagnose you with gestational diabetes. If you have one elevated result, your provider may ask to test you again in a few weeks.

Make sure you understand the results of your glucose test and discuss any concerns you have with your provider.

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How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Treated

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Treatment focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range, and may include:

  • A careful diet with low amounts of carbohydrate foods and drinks

  • Oral medicines for hypoglycemia

How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed

What is a normal blood sugar level?

The American Diabetes Association encourages doctors to routinely screen pregnant women for signs of gestational diabetes. If you have no known history of diabetes and normal blood sugar levels at the beginning of your pregnancy, your doctor will likely screen you for gestational diabetes when youre 24 to 28 weeks pregnant.

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Target Blood Sugar Ranges For Pregnant People With Diabetes

Blood sugar targets during pregnancy are lower due to hormonal influences. The ADA, AACE, and Joslin Diabetes Center have slightly different guidelines for target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women with diabetes will want to follow individual guidelines provided by their endocrinologist.

The ADA recommends maintaining blood sugar levels of 95-140 mg/dL for pregnant women. However, some providers recommend an even tighter goal of blood glucose levels below 89 mg/dL before a meal and below 120 mg/dL after a meal.

To keep close tabs on levels, most diabetes specialists recommend that women with diabetes during pregnancy check their blood sugar:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Before all meals

Different Levels And What They Mean

The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.

The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.

If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.

That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.

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High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy Effects On The Baby

High blood sugar during pregnancy is always a problem and can lead to miscarriages, abnormal baby birth and so on. The other possible effects on the baby are

  • Stillbirth , this is high with poor blood sugar control.
  • Birth defects, if youre diabetic then this complication is high, frequently visit the doctor during the primary trimester.
  • Macrosomia, it is a condition where the baby is more than normal.
  • Birth injury, this happens when the baby is large in size and it is difficult for delivery.
  • Hypoglycemia, the baby is born with low glucose levels.
  • Respiratory distress or trouble while breathing as the babys lungs arent grown properly due to high sugar level.

Preeclampsia, heart issues, brain and spinal problems, oral clefts, gastrointestinal and kidney defects, and limb problems are also common.

Risks Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels for Pregnant Women

While maternal blood glucose levels usually return to normal after birth, there is an increased risk of the woman developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The baby may also be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Depending on your risk factors, you will also need to be tested for type 2 diabetes again every one to three years. Ask your doctor for more information. You can find more information about reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes here.

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What Is The Normal Range For A One

Blood sugar values lower than 140 milligrams per deciliter are normal. You dont need additional testing for gestational diabetes.

If your blood sugar value is 140 mg/dL or higher, your provider will recommend the three-hour glucose tolerance test.

Please note that all providers are different and normal ranges may vary. For example, some providers consider anything higher than 135 mg/dL to be abnormal.

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