Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Ashland, Wisconsin, USA:

I am a 28 years old, and have had type 1 diabetes for 21 years. I am on an insulin pump, and I am approximately 12 weeks pregnant. My hemoglobin A1c is 4.7%, and my endocrinologist wants me to raise my blood glucose levels which this causes me great anxiety. We often hear of the probable adverse affects of hyperglycemia on fetal growth and development and the need for tight control prior to conception and during pregnancy, but can hypoglycemia also be a problem?


The effects of hypoglycemia during pregnancy are not as well studied as hyperglycemia. There are some animal models, but direct study in humans has not been done. Presumably, the fetus responds to maternal glucose levels since glucose easily and readily crosses the placenta. With high glucose amounts, the fetus produces more insulin which contributes to macrosomia (large babies). With low glucose in the maternal circulation, the fetus would have to generate its own glucose. However, reserves in the fetus are probably limited.

Long term consequences of hypoglycemia are unknown. A brief episode of hypoglycemia is probably not significant, much like in the adult. Prolonged and severe hypoglycemia may be harmful. Therefore, in my patients who are having frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, particularly if it requires treatment by someone else, I will decrease the insulin dosing. If you are watching your blood sugars closely and treating any episodes of hypoglycemia promptly, then I would suggest keeping your current regimen as it is.


Original posting 12 Jul 2001
Posted to Family Planning


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.