How To Manage Low Blood Sugar During Pregnancy

Everyone is at risk for experiencing low blood sugar levels during their lifetime. In a majority of these cases, this condition is not dangerous – and is easily remedied by eating a snack or small meal. But compared to men, women are more likely to experience drops in their glucose levels, and pregnant women are at even higher risk. And experiencing low blood sugar during pregnancy poses dangerous complications to both mother and child if the condition is not treated quickly.

Learn the Signs and Symptoms

Unless you have a glucose monitor, chances are you will not be able to check your glucose levels on a daily basis. Because of this it is essential pregnant women recognize the warning signs to prevent the development of moderate to severe hypoglycemia. The initial warning signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include:

  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Sweating or clammy skin
  • Distorted and blurry vision

Creating a Balanced Meal Plan

Expectant mothers are already balancing a busy schedule, especially if they already have children. As a result, women tend to put their needs in the background – which results in the frequent skipping of meals and snacks. Irregular eating habits are the most common cause of low blood sugar, and the easiest situation to remedy.

During pregnancy it is essential for both mother and child to consume a healthy diet containing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber. Foods high in simple sugars should be avoided (i.e. cakes, cookies, sugary pastries and soda) as a way or correcting symptoms associated with low blood sugar or as a snack. This can actually worsen the situation and cause a condition called reactive hypoglycemia – where the body experiences a sudden spike in glucose levels followed by a rapid “crash” or low.

Developing an Exercise Plan

Fitness is an important part of overall health, but becomes essential during pregnancy. Only 30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise a 3 to 5 days a week can help your body maintain a proper balance of blood sugar levels. Intense exercise should be avoided because it is another trigger of reactive hypoglycemia.

Accidental Overmedication

Low blood sugar levels during pregnancy can be the result of overmedication of insulin, which is used to control diabetes. Caused commonly by fluctuating hormones, women with gestational diabetes, type 1 or type 2 are at increased risk. If this is a problem or concern, make sure to record your blood sugar levels during the day and discuss the data with your doctor – including any incidences of low blood glucose and their potential triggers.

Managing sugar levels during pregnancy doesn’t need to be challenging. In most cases, all that is required is being aware of individual lifestyle habits and making simple changes to your diet and exercise routine. By knowing the causes of low blood sugar and what symptoms to watch for, expectant mothers can keep themselves and their unborn child safe and healthy.

You can read more about treating low blood sugar here.

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