Low Sugar and Pregnancy Risks Associated With Such a Condition

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Guneet Chopra March 15, 2024

Last updated on August 1st, 2022

During pregnancy, a woman experiences several changes in her body. The hormonal levels change, and so does her requirement for energy to support the growth of the fetus. Thus, it is mandatory that the pregnant lady goes for regular check-ups and avoid the causes that can lead to sugar fluctuations. Both increase and decrease in sugar levels are harmful to the child and mother and result in complications during childbirth. Read this blog to learn about the relationship between low sugar and pregnancy.

Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose or blood sugar from the blood to the body’s cells, where it is stored for energy. During pregnancy, the body produces more insulin for the baby’s development. In certain cases, it is seen that during pregnancy, the body becomes more resistant to insulin. Thus, many women during their pregnancy phase develop diabetes (gestational diabetes).

The chances of having high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) are more common in pregnancy because of the changes in the body during pregnancy. How the body reacts to insulin can also cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels. Thus, it causes a condition called hypoglycemia. It is a case where blood sugar is less than 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg\dl).

Hypoglycemia during pregnancy is common among women with diabetes. A Healthy Diet Plan, safe and effective fitness regimen, proper sleeping pattern, and other lifestyle modifications help in maintaining blood sugar at healthy levels throughout pregnancy and after.

Also Read: Normal blood sugar level after meal

Causes of Low Sugar During Pregnancy

Causes of Low Sugar During Pregnancy


The NIH reports mild fluctuations in sugar levels during the pregnancy are normal. But if there is a persistent decrease in sugar levels, known as hypoglycemia, several precautions are required. The causes that result in hypoglycemia should be avoided in the first place.

There is an underlying cause of diabetes in pregnant women in case of hypoglycemia. Thus, women who are not diabetic before usually do not face this issue. However, women suffering from it find it difficult to concentrate or could faint.

Random variation in blood sugar during pregnancy is often observed, as both pregnancy and diabetes cause insulin fluctuation. Health experts recommend avoiding too much or too little sugar. It is mandatory for all ladies to go for blood sugar tests, even if they are not in the high-risk category.

Hypoglycemia in pregnancy without diabetes is rare. The following types of diabetes puts the pregnant lady under high hypoglycemia risk:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes- hypoglycemia after gestational diabetes

Consuming a nutrient-rich diet can prevent, cure and maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is very important to know what you are eating and how much you are eating, if you are planning, expecting or have just delivered a baby. To understand the quality and quantity of your diet, consulting a personal diet coach is recommended. Simple habit changes can help you reverse diabetes for life.

Also read: Is white wheat bread good for diabetics

Low Sugar During Pregnancy Symptoms

Low Sugar During Pregnancy Symptoms

As the body becomes weak and is unable to derive energy for the growth of the baby and its functioning. According to the Baptisthealth website, it shows the following symptoms:

  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty in thinking
  • Exhaustion
  • Moodiness
  • Anger
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cold night sweats
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Difficulty in waking up in the morning

Women with severe low sugar levels experience seizures, convulsions, or even lose consciousness. If a lady experiences irregular blood glucose levels, she should opt for the diabetes reversal program, which emphasises normalising blood sugar levels naturally. Healthy mother, healthy baby!

Types of Hypoglycemia and Pregnancy


Hypoglycemia is of two types, and medical treatment is given depending on its type. There can be various reasons that lead to hypoglycemia, and women experience either reactive or fasting hypoglycemia accordingly.

There are usually two types of hypoglycemia, they are as follows:

Reactive hypoglycemia: According to the Mayo Clinic, in this form of hypoglycemia, the blood sugar levels drop within a few hours of the meal. The case is predominant with people who are affected by sugar, but then at times may be seen in people without the diabetes condition also.

Fasting hypoglycemia: If blood sugar levels drop dangerously between meals, it is this condition. It is common in people without a previous diagnosis or present condition of diabetes.

Sustainable lifestyle modifications can cure both reactive and fasting hypoglycemia.

Also read: Can high blood sugar cause rash

Causes of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia low blood glucose


It is fairly uncommon to see pregnant women with hypoglycemia if she has no previous history of diabetes. However, apart from diabetes, there are several other causes also that can cause hypoglycemia.

  • Diabetes: It is the most common reason for hypoglycemia during pregnancy. However, as per surveys, it is more common to observe hyperglycemia among women, but then hypoglycemia could also occur during the different stages of pregnancy. High blood sugar levels are a result of Type I diabetes, where the body cannot produce the correct levels of insulin. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the body has become resistant to insulin. Low blood sugar levels occur when the person is on diabetes medications or does not eat enough. The hormonal changes also play a vital role and result in the rise of hypoglycemia in women with diabetes. Thus emphasis is put on eating a balanced and nutritional diet.
  • Gestational diabetes: At times, women suffer from gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This happens as the woman becomes insulin-resistant during the pregnancy. Further the hormonal changes and the increased requirement of energy in the body results in hypoglycemia. According to the Medical News Today website, about 9.2 percent of women experience gestational diabetes. However, after the birth of the baby, the gestational diabetes goes away.
  • Morning sickness: Blood sugar reduces considerably in women who do not consume enough carbohydrates. Women who vomit continuously during pregnancy can also experience low blood sugar levels. Thus, women who do not gain weight or vomit daily need to consult a doctor and get a sugar test done.
  • Lifestyle reasons: Lifestyle reasons that can lead to hypoglycemia are not exercising or leading a sedentary lifestyle. Also, if the lady exercises too much, then more energy is consumed, which can decrease sugar levels and, thereby, result in hypoglycemia. The two causes are lifestyle issues that can result in disease. Even consuming too much alcohol can result in hypoglycemia. Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach also affects the blood sugar level.
    Also, if the lady consumes alcohol empty stomach, then it can affect her sugar levels.
  • Medical conditions: Several medical problems can also result in hypoglycemia in pregnancy without diabetes. Thus, it could result in complications during pregnancy and foetal development. Acute hepatitis, organ failure, enzyme deficiencies, pancreatic tumors, glucagon and some other diseases can result in hypoglycemia

A woman should take expert advice as soon as she starts experiencing symptoms of diabetes. Health coaches will help her understand how food and exercise affect their blood sugar levels. Constant push and motivation by certified coaches will help develop healthy habits over time, thus reversing diabetes.

blood glucose levels

Risk Factors Associated With Low Sugar During Pregnancy


Hypoglycemia can occur at any time during the pregnancy. It can be avoided by consulting a medical expert on time. However, there are certain things that will increase the risk with hypoglycemia.

The risks related to hypoglycemia are as follows:

  1. Diabetes– Both pregnancy and diabetes affect insulin levels, which fluctuate. Consuming too much or too little sugar will require constant monitoring. Thus, consult your doctor regularly so he can prescribe medicines accordingly to avoid sudden increases or decreases in blood sugar levels, which can affect the pregnancy and growth of the fetus.
  2. The first trimester– Hypoglycemia usually occurs in the first trimester when vomiting and nausea are common issues for the expecting mom. For Type 1 diabetic ladies, the chances of hypoglycemia increase by three times. Mostly, there is no fear in the second trimester. Still, taking precautions is mandatory.
  3. Hypoglycemic Attacks before Pregnancy– In such cases, one has to be careful as the episodes could recur
  4. Being sick– Certain illnesses cause one to lose appetite, which can lead to the use of existing sugar levels and result in hypoglycemic episodes.
  5. Malnourished– Nutrition and the calorie content of food are of prime importance during pregnancy. Lack of this could increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

The Diabetes Reversal Program is sure to make you feel healthier during pregnancy and have a more positive outlook in life.

How to Reduce the Risk of Low Sugar in Pregnancy?

The best aspect is to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia rather than availing treatment for the same.

  1. According to the Medical News Today website, eat a small, well-balanced diet. Your meals should contain grains, pulses, lean proteins, etc.
  2. While sleeping, you are fasting, so keeping a snack by the bedside will prove useful so that you can eat it when you wake up during the night or as your first snack after waking up in the morning.
  3. Indulging in a moderate exercise regime. Remember, overdoing it can affect the sugar levels in your body.

For a smooth nine-month pregnancy, you should start practising healthy habits right from the beginning. A team of personalised Diet Coaches, Fitness Coaches, diabetologists, and other health care coaches will help you achieve a better lifestyle during and after pregnancy.

Diagnosis of Low Sugar During Pregnancy

Based on the symptoms and blood glucose reading, the doctor diagnoses the case of hypoglycemia. Thus, the doctor asks the patients to record their blood sugar readings several times during the day. The doctor prescribes a sugar monitoring kit, also known as a glucometer, to assist in recording the sugar levels. Persistent low sugar blood levels indicate hypoglycemia. A single reading cannot decide the disease.

Effect of Hypoglycemia on Mother and Child

Severe cases of hypoglycemia may require hospitalization. The blood sugar level can drop to 300 micrograms per ml, thus causing seizures and in extreme cases, the mother can go into a coma.

Low blood sugar during pregnancy can affect the development of the foetus during pregnancy. The infant so born can have hypoglycemia episodes from birth. The child can also have mental or physical abnormalities.
Careful and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels can decrease the risk of Hypoglycemia, thus reducing the risk of complications in the mother and the baby.

Also read: Best diet to lose weight for prediabetes

Treatment for Reducing Severe Hypoglycemia

The treatment methods for hypoglycemia are as follows:

  • The patient should be fed high-calorie foods like fruit juice, sugar water, and glucose tablets.
  • If there is a rare case of a tumour then it has to be removed.
  • If the patient is unable to eat then consulting the doctor at the earliest is required.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle before and after conception can reduce all risks. A pregnant woman should always seek expert consultation in planning her diet and exercise routine. Reverse Diabetes and deliver a healthy baby!

Also read: Diabetic kidney disease diet


what are ideal sugar levels during pregnancy?

Normal fasting blood glucose level is lower than 95 mg/dl and after drinking the glucose solution the normal blood sugar is level should be lower than 180 mg/dl. If the blood sugar levels are high then there could be birth defects in the child. To reduce the sugar levels balanced diet, consuming medicines, and regular exercise should be done.

What medical conditions cause hypoglycemia in newborn?

Reasons of hypoglycemia in newborns is a result of the following gestational diabetes, maternal diabetes, poor nutrition of mother during pregnancy, or perinatal asphyxia. Delayed feeding and hyperinsulinemia can also result in hypoglycemia in kids.

How much insulin should I take during pregnancy?

Total daily insulin requirement during the first trimester is 0.7 units/kg/day, in the second trimester it is 0.8 units/kg/day, the range however reaches to 0.9- 1.0 units/kg day.

How does pregnancy affect blood sugar?

It is a common observation that women may experience slight increase in blood sugar levels during pregnancy. The pregnancy and blood sugar levels often affect each other. the pregnant lady observes high blood sugar as she is unable to make and use the insulin required for the growth of the baby.

How to treat hypoglycemia in pregnancy?

If you start to feel any symptoms of hypoglycemia then in the following ways it is treated:

  1. Find a safe place to sit or lie
  2. Eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates. Simple carbs are high with sugar content.
  3. Consult with your health expert regarding the glycemic episodes.

How to control morning blood sugar during pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones make it difficult to control morning sugar, but by making a few dietary chances it becomes possible to control the sugar levels. One of the ways is including whole grains, vegetables, fruits with peels, and dairy products. It is important that the carbohydrate consumption is spread during the meals. High fiber and low glycemic foods helps to maintain the blood sugar levels and keep full for longer hours.

Does breastfeeding affect blood sugar?

The newborns who are not fed on time face low blood sugar levels.

What causes a newborn baby to have low blood sugar?

  • Low birth weight infants
  • Wasted infants
  • Delay in onset of feeding
  • Infants of diabetic mother
  • Overweight for gestational age infants.
  • Polycythaemic infants.

Normal serum glucose level for newborn- the normal concentration of glucose in the blood of newborn infants is 2.5 mmol/l to 7.0 mmol/l. medically it is called normoglycaemia. Most cases baby blood sugar levels in babies are in the middle range that is about 3.5 to 5mmol\l.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


This site provides educational content; however, it is not a substitute for professional medical guidance. Readers should consult their healthcare professional for personalised guidance. We work hard to provide accurate and helpful information. Your well-being is important to us, and we value your feedback. To learn more, visit our editorial policy page for details on our content guidelines and the content creation process.

Leave a Reply

Download Free Diabetes Diet Plan