What Is Considered Low Blood Sugar during Pregnancy?
Either hyperglycemia ‘too high’ or hypoglycemia ‘too low’ blood sugar during pregnancy is dangerous both for mother and her baby. If left untreated, both conditions can be harmful and increase the risk of some pregnancy complications.
Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are more likely to occur in pregnant women with gestational diabetes or women who already have diabetes (especially type-1 diabetes) before pregnancy. Even sometimes both conditions also can occur in pregnant women without diabetes or gestational diabetes.
As well we know, gestational diabetes is a term used to call diabetes that only develops and occurs during pregnancy. In other words, this kind of diabetes will go away on its own after childbirth (particularly after the placenta is gone).
While some women with gestational diabetes don’t need to take insulin replacement to help their blood glucose control, others do.
The decision of whether or not you should take insulin during pregnancy is closely dependent on how well you can control your blood glucose level. If it increases significantly (higher than expected), you may be asked to take insulin therapy. For more guidance about this issue, ask your doctor!
Placenta tends to produce more pregnancy hormones as the pregnancy progresses. And this can bring a greater effect for the performance of insulin produced by placenta in regulating the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
In some pregnant women, the insulin sensitivity or the quantity of insulin produced by pancreas is not enough to control their blood sugar level as their pregnancy progresses. As a result, they may develop gestational diabetes!
To respond this situation, doctor may prescribe some glucose-lowering drugs or insulin replacement to help cope with the problem. The prescribed insulin dosage is usually based on the blood glucose log of each patient.
But when you’re taking insulin, remember that there is also the risk of low-blood sugar reaction or medically known as hypoglycemia. So make sure you completely follow and do all instructions from your doctor on how to properly take the medications!
Here are some checklists to remember when you’re going with your insulin therapy:
- Eat your meals at the right time and never skip your breakfast! Skipping your breakfast can affect the regular pattern of your insulin performance in controlling blood sugar.
- Eat your foods properly! For instance, chew and eat your food slowly! Don’t forget to always stick with a well-balanced diet!
- Keep active but do your exercise moderately and regularly – and avoid strenuous exercise!
If you have diabetes before pregnancy or develop gestational diabetes, check your blood glucose at certain times throughout the day! This is important to keep monitoring the fluctuation as your pregnancy progresses.
Monitoring your blood glucose is also very useful to make sure that you are on the right line with your appropriate eating and exercise patterns. This is also helpful for the signal of when you should call /see your doctor, especially true when you mistakenly take the medication in wrong way.
If you have gestational diabetes, your normal blood sugar targets should be:
I strongly disagree with the “solutions” suggested for low blood sugar. I am pregnant with my second child and have had this condition for years now, and it is common knowledge that eating sugary foods just makes things worse, as it causes the blood sugar levels to go up temporarily, before causing a “crash”. The only way to stabilise blood sugar levels is to concentrate on protein and complex carbs, to avoid eating sweet or starchy foods, or if doing so, to always have them with a source of protein on the side. For example, an apple with a handful of almonds/peanuts, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, baked potato with tuna, etc. Constantly eating sugary foods when suffering from hypoglycemia is not only useless but even harmful, especially while pregnant.