The form of diabetes which develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. This condition has become predominant in the recent pastaccording to the 2009 article in American Family Physician. For instance, in the United States alone, it affects around 5% to 9% of all the pregnant women. Pregnancy aggravates the preexisting type 2 and type 1 diabetes. During pregnancy the sugar level may tend to be high sometimes, posing problems to the mother and the infant as well. However, concerning the sugar level during pregnancy, what's normal? Blood sugar control is one of the most essential factors that should be undertaken during pregnancy. When measures are taken to control blood sugar level during pregnancy, it increases chances of a successful pregnancy.

Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy, What's Normal?

The average fasting glucose for pregnant women without any diabetes condition range from 69 to 75 and from 105 to 108 immediately one hour after consuming food. If you have preexisting diabetes or you have developedgestational diabetes, the best way to handle the blood sugar level is to ensure that it remains in between the normal range, not going too low or high. According to the recommendations of the 2007, Fifth International Workshop-Conference on Gestational Diabetes, which established blood glucose goals especially for diabetic women, during the period of pregnancy, the fasting blood sugar should not exceed 96. Blood sugar should remain below 140 just one hour after eating and below 120 two hours later.

Why Is It Important to Keep Normal Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy?

The most effective way to prevent complications related to diabetes is to control the amount or the level of blood sugar. This blood sugar control is very significant during pregnancy as it can:

  • Minimize the risk of stillbirth as well as miscarriage.
  • Reduce any chances of premature birth since with a good blood sugar control it’s unlikely that you may have preterm labor.
  • Minimize any chances of birth defects especially those related or associated to brain, heart and spine.
  • Reduce the chances of excess growth of your fetus. For instance, if your blood sugar control is poor, the excess glucose can enter or cross the placenta triggering extra insulin in your baby, which eventually can lead your baby to grow very large.
  • Prevents complications in the mother such as preeclampsia, high blood pressure and other potential pregnancy related complications.
  • Finally, it also prevents complications in the baby. Babies sometimes may develop hypoglycemia shortly or immediately after being born because of high insulin production in the body. When there is good blood glucose control in the mother, it promotes a normal blood sugar level in the child as well. In addition, it also harmonizes the levels of magnesium and calcium in blood and prevents the yellowish discoloration observed on the eyes and the skin (jaundice) after the baby is born.

How to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy



Avoid sugar and foods with high sugar content

Ensure you look and read the food labels and avoid those which list sugars at the beginning of their ingredients.Avoid also high sugar foods such as cookies and pies and stick to natural sugars.

Add complex carbohydrates to your diet

Vegetables as well as whole grains and legumes provide these carbohydrates that take some time to be digested thus not overloading your pancreas.

Increase the intake of dietary fibre    

The dietary fibre foods such as vegetables, cereals, dried beans and whole grain reduces the amount or the level of insulin required to maintain the normal blood sugar level.

Maintain a low fat diet

Your body requires fat to aid in the absorption of the vitamins as well as providing your baby with essential fatty acids; however, too much of fat may inhibit insulin.

Eat at least six times a day

When you take six small meals at certain even intervals, it can prevent fluctuations in blood sugar level when you are pregnant. You can include proteins and some complex carbohydrates.

Add bedtime snack of essential nutrients

When you sleep for about 8 hours, it can leave you with low sugar level, so be sure to add some protein and complex carbohydrate snacks such as peanut butter at bedtime.

Daily or regular exercise

Exercising burns the extra sugars and maintains the sugar level at check.

How to Gain Normal Blood Sugar Level If You Have Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Your heath care provider can help you in establishing the range of your target blood sugar, and then the rest of the task lies with you and involves taking appropriate measures in following your diabetes treatment plan as well as making healthy lifestyle choices. Here are the basics:

1. Regular Checkups

Ensure you do regular checkups of your blood sugar level. This is important since you can easily monitor any fluctuations and take precautions to control the blood sugar level.

2. Take Medications as Directed

Make sure that you take either insulin or any other medications as prescribed by the doctor. Oral diabetics medications may be used sometimes, but your doctor might recommend that you stick to the insulin since some of the medicines may not be safe to use during pregnancy.

3. Be Flexible

You should be flexible always and adjust the dosage of insulin based on your blood sugar fluctuationsas well as what you take in and whether you are vomiting or other factors. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, sometimes in the last trimester, the hormones might block the effects of insulin and thus you will need a high dosage of insulin.

4. Stick to the Healthy Eating

Ensure that you maintain your standard diabetic diet which will contain more fruits, whole grains and vegetables. You can take the same food during pregnancy, but your doctor might suggest that you make changes to what you eat so that you can cope up with low blood sugar level.

5. Include Some Physical Exercises in Your Routine

This is very important and you must first of all check with your health care provider before embarking on an exercise routine. Choose comfortable exercises such as swimming, walking and stationery biking.

Lookfor more information about how to deal with gestational diabetes during pregnancy? Check out the video below: