Lows During Pregnancy

Hi Everyone,

I'm about 10 weeks pregnant with my first baby, and am having the common first trimester drop in bloodsugars.

I tend to be pretty aggressive about treating highs in general, and to err on the side of being too low rather than too high. I feel my lows, and have a CGM, so I feel relatively safe taking this approach. In addition, it takes only a couple of minutes and a couple of glucose tabs to correct a low, whereas it can take an hour or more for my BG to come down if I'm over 200. My question for others is: during your pregnancy, did you worry more about being high or being low? I realize that I have been warned so much about highs being bad for the baby that I don't actually know what risks lows pose. I'm having lows pretty frequently, and I'd rather not, but it seems to some extent like the price I'm paying to keep my BG under 150 almost all the time. I aim for balance, of course, and that sweet spot where I'm neither high or low, but I think any diabetic knows that balance isn't always possible.

So how did you ladies approach trying to achieve a balance between avoiding hypoglycemia and avoiding hyperglycemia while you were (or are!) pregnant?

Hi Alex
I’m now 18 weeks pregnant, type 1 and had diabetes for over 20 years, I have a pump and a CGM… phew, that the stats out the way…
I had a pretty brutal first trimester, I’ve always had great hypo symptoms and even when asleep would wake up to treat a low, but the pregnancy has made everything more extreme. I was trying to keep my sugars low, like you I figured a few hypos was a small price to pay, but I found I would feel the low, treat it with lucozade and still ‘come to’ with my OH standing over me with an empty glucagon in his hand, it’s like the sugar wasn’t as effective as usual or wasn’t working fast enough. I had about 10 glucagon a in the first 3 months, prior to this I’ve had 2 in 20 years. I spoke to the docs about the lows, basically they said that although I felt totally guff, the baby was fine, it was taking all the goodness and is quite cosy in there. They were more concerned about me.
They asked me to correct using my basal instead of bolus as it was more gentle to go 150% for a couple hours than drop quickly down the way. It seems it’s the continuous highs they worry about, if you were running at 10 for example all the time, but that said not to beat myself up if I miscalculate a meal for example. I’m out of the woods now, but I’ve been told I’ll begin to need more insulin about 24 weeks, we shall see.
Good luck with your pregnancy and congratulations!

Thank you! And I'm so sorry your first trimester was so difficult. That sounds really frightening.

I actually went to the doctor a few days ago and asked about all this. He said that there aren't any studies showing lows are bad for the baby. They just worry about the health and safety of the mom (and of course, if you are having a seizure, etc. that's bad for the baby). Basically, he seemed to feel that since my lows haven't been severe, and I have a CGM, it was OK to run on the lower rather than the higher side.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

If you are running anemic at all, let yourself run higher, you'll get falsely higher readings as the meter tries to compensate. If you're on any meds(even Tylenol), watch out, have more frequent A1Cs and compare your meter to lab check as often as you can. An A1c of 4 cost me dearly when I was pregnant with my son, unbeknownst to myself at the time. My A1c was only checked two times through out my pregnancy, first was in the upper 5s early on, then last was 4 and according to my meters I should have been in the 5s still. A1C of 4 can cause some neurological and nerve damage, as I learned the hard way - my son came out healthy, but I didn't. I tested 12+ times a day, didn't have CGM.

Hi Alex,

It's tough isn't it?

Great job though...And it won't be long until you're in a better place, where the hypoglycemia is less frequent. Right now your body is literally using all of your resources to build a baby...AMAZING RIGHT...so this use of your body resources causes lows.

My husband and I are planning our next pregnancy now and I'm in the same boat trying to keep sugars meticulous. But as you know it comes with a price, hypoglycemia.

The CGM is brilliant, especially for peace of mind at night,

I'm blogging about my last pregnancy and, God willing, current one at http://www.diabetestogo.com

All the best!

That sounds so scary! I'm having my A1c checked pretty much monthly right now, so hopefully we will catch anything like that. My last one was 6, so I don't seem to be running too low, overall. So sorry about your experience.

Thank you! The upside, I would say, of running low is that I can eat things I normally can't and my BG is completely fine. I never though pregnancy would allow me to eat white flour with impunity, but for a few weeks, at least, it has. Thanks, kid!

Yeah, I’m enjoying pasta for the first time in ages!
I hope it all goes well for you. Like you, my hba1c is checked monthly. It also seems to be running about 6. I’m at the diabetic ANC fortnightly. I’ve started growing now and fine I run a bit lower if I’m having a growth spurt.
I’m 6 months on Tuesday… Time flies! Good luck with everything, enjoy your sleep while you can.


It's so true..I loved being able to eat Twizzlers galore... I hadn't done that in years!

Enjoy it:)

Melissa Shannon

I am 7 weeks pregnant and experiencing lows too. Idk if they are as bad as highs but I try not to get either.Hope all is well.

Congrats Atina!

It's tough during the first trimester, balancing lows and avoiding highs. I hope you find it a little better during the second trimester!

Wishing you a very good pregnancy!

Melissa Shannon

I want to say that babies blood sugars run lower anyways {this is based on highly scientific evidence from "that article I read that time" but I was a little shocked to read it} so maybe that's why doctors aren't as worried about the low bg's as they are the high bg's {because even a slightly elevated one for us is a significantly high bg for the baby}?

As I said, *highly scientific* comment here, but does anyone have any references?