Controlling sugar levels during pregnancy is very important as it affects the pregnancy besides the chances of getting pregnant. A good glucose level ensures the chances for a safe pregnancy and voids the chances of gestational diabetes whereas high blood sugar levels early pregnancy can cause birth defects. But, what is the ideal blood sugar level during pregnancy?
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy?
As women ages 35 and above the chances of getting affected with gestational diabetes are high and so it is important to know the ideal count of sugar to be present while carrying. If your test result is below 7.8 mmol/L after consumption of 50g glucose and lapse of 60 minutes then the sugar count is normal. There is also another way to know normal blood range by following the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), with a sugared liquid having 75 g glucose and 3 blood tests. In the below 3 tests if minimum 1 out of the 3 blood tests’ values is greater than or equal to the mentioned readings then your blood count is not normal.
- 5.1 mmol/L fasting
- 10 mmol/L 1 hour after drinking the sugary drinks or the sugary liquid
- 8.5 mmol/L 2 hours after drinking the sugary liquid
Usually when blood sugar level is higher than 200 mg/dl (for reference, 70-120 mg/dl is the target range) is seen a second evaluation i.e., an oral glucose tolerance test is recommended.
Ideal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
On any given day if you are in doubt regarding the fluctuations of sugar level in pregnancy consult your doctor and he/she will recommend one of the two above tests to know your glucose levels. However, according to gynecologists, the idyllic blood sugar level is 4.0 to 5.5 mmol/L before meals (fasting), and less than 7.0 mmol/L 2 hours after having a meal.
How To Reduce Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy?
If you neglect your body and make it a haven for unwanted glucose in it then for sure you’re 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.
Is Low Blood Sugar Level Normal During Pregnancy?
It is a known fact that the body produces more insulin for the growth of the baby but what about the sugar levels, even these change during pregnancy. When the question of the low presence of glucose in blood during pregnancy is concerned, it isn’t normal however, high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) is normal.
The sugar levels come down too low in these following conditions;
You are not eating enough frequently or having the wrong diet in a worry to normalize sugar level. So when this happens the baby absorbs more glucose from your body and at times may lead to low glucose in the body.
Too much exercising which leads to consumption of glucose present in the body.
At times even few medicines can drop the blood sugar quantity in the body. In such cases ask for a change of drugs so that you’re saved from the low presence of sugar.
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 (fetal death), this is high with poor blood sugar control.
- Birth defects, if you’re 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 baby’s lungs aren’t 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.
Tips To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
Well, being careful with what you eat is of utmost importance. Here are other tips.
- Eat less but eat right, have more proteins and fewer carbs.
- Eat frequently in little quantities, probably for every 2 hours.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Be physically active.
- Go for regular checkups.
- Keep an eye on your medicines, don’t take any drug without prior approval of your doctor.
Follow these steps and you will have the ideal blood sugar level during pregnancy.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.