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Blood glucose monitoring during pregnancy, for women with type 1 diabetes

It is essential to monitor your blood glucose levels frequently during your pregnancy. You will be asked to test before meals and one to two hours after meals. You may, at times, be advised to do some extra monitoring, such as before bed and overnight (for hypos).

Monitoring will help you and your doctor to get a better understanding of your blood glucose levels, so you can adjust your insulin to manage your diabetes in the best possible way. Extra blood glucose monitoring can also help you reduce the tendency to have hypos and big swings in your blood glucose levels.

Continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, may be suggested during your pregnancy. CGM uses a sensor placed under the skin to continually detect changes in glucose levels and to provide additional information about glucose patterns. This can be useful, but it does not replace the monitoring you do yourself. Ask your diabetes in pregnancy team for more information about CGM.

Blood glucose targets

Aiming for blood glucose levels as close to target as possible can help reduce the risk of heath problems for you and your baby. Your diabetes in pregnancy team will discuss individual blood glucose targets with you.

Current Australian guidelines for women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes during pregnancy recommend blood glucose levels between 4.0 and 5.5 mmol/L fasting/before meals and less than 7mmol/L two hours after meals.

However, for women with type 1 diabetes, the targets below may be suggested by your diabetes in pregnancy team to take into account the need for optimal blood glucose levels during pregnancy, while minimising the risk of hypos.

Your team may also advise you to monitor your blood glucose levels at other times.

Recommended blood glucose targets during pregnancy
Fasting/before meals4.0–6.0 mmol/L
2 hours after each meal5.5–7.5 mmol/L