Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes
How Do I Monitor My Blood Sugar Levels?
Testing your blood sugar at certain times of the day will help determine if your exercise and eating patterns are keeping your blood sugar levels in control, or if you need extra insulin to bring levels down and protect your developing baby. Your health care provider will ask you to maintain a daily food record and ask you to record your home sugar levels.
Testing your blood sugar involves pricking your finger with a lancet device (a small, sharp needle), putting a drop of blood on a test strip, using a blood sugar meter to display your results, recording the results in a log book, and then disposing the lancet and strips properly (in a "sharps" container or a hard plastic container, such as a laundry detergent bottle).
Bring your blood sugar readings with you to your medical appointments so your health care provider can evaluate how well your blood sugar levels are controlled and determine if changes need to be made to your treatment plan.
Your health care provider will show you how to use a glucose meter. He or she can also tell you where to get a meter. You may be able to borrow it from your hospital, as many hospitals have loaner meter programs for women with gestational diabetes.
The goal of monitoring is to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible. The ranges include:
|Time of Test||Target Blood Sugar Reading|
|Before breakfast||plasma below 105; whole blood below 95|
|2 Hours After Meals||plasma below 130; whole blood below 120|
Plasma levels are measured from a blood draw at a medical lab, while most home meters measure whole blood levels. Insulin treatment is started if above levels are not maintained.
Do I Need to Take Insulin for Gestational Diabetes?
Based on your blood sugar monitoring results, your health care provider will tell you if you need to take insulin in the form of injections during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar. If insulin is prescribed for you, you may be taught how to perform the insulin injection procedure.