Pregnancy diabetes: Monitoring blood sugar levels
Whether you’re thinking about trying for a baby or are already pregnant, managing your risk of getting pregnancy diabetes is important to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.
The key question to ask if you’re being tested for, or monitoring, pregnancy diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood is too high because your body can’t use it properly. If this happens when you’re pregnant (usually during the second or third trimester), it’s called pregnancy diabetes. Whether you’re thinking about trying for a baby or are already pregnant, there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting pregnancy diabetes or to manage it carefully if you do.
Before you get pregnant:
- stop smoking.
- eat a healthy diet that includes recommended amounts of fiber, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and dairy food.
- stay at a healthy weight.
- lead an active lifestyle.
When you’re pregnant:
- continue to follow a healthy, active lifestyle and balanced diet, as above
- ask your healthcare provider about the routine blood test you can have to tell if you have pregnancy diabetes
- if you find out you do have pregnancy diabetes, don’t panic! It can be managed with diet, exercise, and – if needed – medication. Your healthcare providers will come up with a plan that’s tailor-made for you. When your blood glucose is under control, the majority of moms and babies continue to be healthy throughout pregnancy.
Tested positive for pregnancy diabetes? Ask your healthcare provider about the safe limits for your blood glucose levels. At each appointment, the key question to ask is: what’s my blood glucose number?
Always check with your healthcare provider about your blood glucose limits, but as a general guide, the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Singapore (COG) recommends these limits for the amount of glucose in the blood of pregnant women with pregnancy diabetes1:
- Before a breakfast meal (known as a fasting value): 5.1 – 6.9 mmol/L
- 1 hour after a meal: more than 10.0 mmol/L
- 2 hours after a meal: 8.5 – 11.0 mmol/L
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