Type 1, first trimester of pregnancy, and can't keep my glucose down

Hi. I just found out I’m pregnant and my glucose just won’t stay down to normal levels. My body isn’t reacting to the insulin the way it normally would. I’m only four weeks into the pregnancy and wasn’t expecting such difficulty controlling my levels so early. I’ll be speaking with my CDE but want to know if anyone has any tips or has experienced this.

When I was pregnant I found I had to eat extra low carb to get control of blood sugars. I essentially had no carb breakfast (my most insulin resistant), and then a bit at lunch and dinner.

Don't be scared to use more insulin - felt like I was using water instead of insulin. But test frequently, particularly do your 3 am testing to be sure you're not going low. Things can change very quickly during pregnancy.


Thank you! I feel like I’m taking so much insulin.

In the normal menstrual cycle the progesterone rises in the last week before the menstruation. As a result of these high levels of progesterone the insulin will be less effective. This cycle will repeat again and again: 21 normal days, then 7 hard to control days and then the menstruation (if the cycle has 28 days).

In the first trimester of pregnancy the progesterone level will be even higher than in the usual cycle - and it will stay high. The progesterone will prepare the placenta and is the most important hormone for pregnancy. It is responsible for your absurdly high needs for insulin. But keep in mind that the healthy body will have to increase its insulin level too.

Perhaps this video is helpful for you:

This is so helpful. Thank you very much!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I had issues with highs at the beginning and end of my pregnancy and lows in the middle. I have several diabetic mommy friends who have had similar experiences so you are not alone. It can be really frustrating, especially since you want to do what is best for the little one and that makes it extra stressful. I sort of felt like it was a guessing game half of the time, but I just started testing and correcting much more frequently and working with my doctor until I was able to get my basal rates and ratios where they needed to be. I also made sure to do lots of protein with smaller amounts of carbs, normally I get really complacent about that, but it helps when you are trying to get back to steadier levels. Best of Luck!

Thank you Nikki! I feel so much better now after everyone’s comments.

Test frequently. Don't be afraid about taking insulin - the correct amount is the amount that works.

Dr. Jovanovich has excellent advice about diabetes and pregnancy. She is the world leading expert about diabetic pregnancy. You can research other articles by her.

It is likely that your insulin needs will stabilize for while, drop, then rise again. But everyone is different.

This is Dr. Richard Bernstein on Diabetic PRegnancy. I based my managmenet on his teachings and had 2 very healthy babies, despite needing very high amounts of insulin by the end of pregnancy.



I also had very high levels- in the end I had to change my insulin- for some reason the brand I was using just didn’t work as well as it should have.- but after doubling my basal rate, changing the insulin and switching to a low/ slow carb diet, the numbers are easier to control.
I just wish my cravings were so easy- ice cream, bread and butter and fruit- are all on the “don’t work” list! :smile:

I know this is an older thread but just wanted to say thanks for this post and the responses! I’ve been struggling with my blood sugars since finding out I was pregnant a week ago. I think I’m about 6 weeks along since I haven’t gotten an ultrasound yet. Anyway it’s a relief to hear that other MTB have had issue with higher blood sugars as well. Maybe there’s hope for me after all! :smiley:

hello i’m pregnant 8weeks and have type 2…doctor prescribed me insulin 6-6-6 but my sugar is still high fasting 179-210…anyone can give me advice…

Hi Vina,

Sounds like your dr has prescribed a mixed insulin for you. You may get better results by using separate basal and bolus insulin. This will also allow you to do corrections and adjust how much insulin you need to keep you stable both when you don’t eat (ie. slow acting / basal) and when you do eat (fast acting/ bolus)

If your blood sugars are so high (fasting target in pregnancy is fasting < 95), then your insulin dosing is far too low.

We cannot recommend you how to dose your insulin / change your dosing, other than to say you obviously need a higher dose of insulin.

Given the risks of high blood sugar to your pregnancy success, I would suggest you contact your Doctor immediately to inform him/her of your current sugar levels, and to get instructions on what to do. As said, please ask about using basal-bolus insulin vs. mixed insulin.

Some people find that eating lower carb during pregnancy also makes their blood sugar easier to manage.