Understanding Blood Sugar During Pregnancy - Fairview Health Services
 
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Understanding Blood Sugar During Pregnancy

Your body turns food into blood sugar. This gives your body energy. Your blood sugar also goes to your baby. If your blood sugar level gets too high, it can cause problems for the baby and for you. Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) can cause blood sugar problems. You are at risk for developing gestational diabetes, or you have already developed it. But controlling your blood sugar can help prevent problems.

Your Body Turns Food into Blood Sugar

As food is digested, it turns into sugar (glucose), a fuel that feeds your body. This sugar goes into your bloodstream. Your body then releases a substance called insulin to help your body use blood sugar.

Cross section side view of uterus with baby inside. Placenta is attached to inside wall of uterus. Umbilical cord goes from placenta to baby.

Blood Sugar Goes to Your Baby

The placenta connects your baby’s tissue to yours. Your blood sugar goes to your baby from the placenta through the umbilical cord. Your baby uses this sugar to grow. But the placenta also makes hormones that can disrupt the way your body uses insulin (a hormone that helps your body use blood sugar).

Too Much Blood Sugar Affects You and Your Baby

If your body can’t use insulin properly, your blood sugar level gets too high. Then too much blood sugar goes to your baby. This can cause problems for  both you and your baby.

Controlling Your Blood Sugar Helps Prevent Problems

You can lower your blood sugar by eating right, exercising, and maybe by taking insulin. If you keep your blood sugar in control, the risks to you and your baby are the same as for a normal pregnancy.

 

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