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jjas0930

Low blood sugar sign of Labor?

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jjas0930

I apologize if this question has already been asked (I'm new and had trouble finding any answers when using the search feature).

 

I am 38 weeks 2 days pregnant (first pregnancy). I have type 1 diabetes, wear an insulin pump (omnipod) and continuous glucose monitor (Dexcom). My blood sugar is well maintained and my last A1C was 5.4. I have only had diabetes for about a year and a half. I found out while I was trying to conceive.

 

Last night before dinner my blood sugar went down to around the 40's. Strange, because usually I can catch it before it gets that low but this time I did not. I had to eat about 60 carbs to bring it up and it took over 45 minutes. Once stable, I ate dinner as normal and gave myself the normal bolus. However, after dinner I went low again. I caught it on the way down and ate popcorn (22 carbs...more than the ususal 10-15 that I would usually need to bring it up). Then again, before bed it started to go low so I really took advantage and ate some cookies and milk (35 carbs). I woke up 3 more times throughout the night because my Dexcom alarmed with low blood sugars. By this point I had turned my pump down 30% but I was still going "low." Each time I ate a snack and then returned to bed.

 

Could this be a sign of labor? I have no other signs except that yesterday I felt the best I've felt in months. I see the doctor twice a week already. Next appointment is tomorrow.

 

Has anyone else experienced low blood sugar before labor started? How far in advance was it? I'm really baffled how low I need to turn down my pump and whether or not this is just a temporary change.

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Tanikit

I never went into labour with either of my children though did lose my plug the night before the induction with my first child (so labour was imminent). I know my blood sugars were not very stable the last few weeks before birth. They say hypoglycaemia can be a sign of the placenta deteriorating though I was going low with both children and while my placenta had some calcification it was otherwise fine. I am not sure whether lots of Braxton hicks can cause hypoglycaemia. Labour is also hard to say since hormones are changing and you are doing a LOT of exercise during it - which is probably why they use insulin and glucose drips during labour mostly.

 

At 38 weeks and 2 days you could easily be going into labour but it could also be a couple of weeks away. If you feel any other signs related to normal pregnancy labour signs then rather go and get checked out at the hospital - they can do a stress test. Are you due to have an induction or C-section or has nothing been planned yet - how long will they let you go? Good luck for the birth and let us know how it goes - there really can't be much time left. Sorry I know I am not much help - things are too variable at the end for anyone to say much for sure.

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jjas0930

I have an NST tomorrow and if that goes well, and I don't go into labor over the weekend, then they will set an induction date at my Monday appointment when I'll finally be 39 weeks. They don't want me going up until my due date (11/11/13).

 

I'm just curious if the significant drop in my insulin requirements over the last 12+ hours warrents a phone call to my doctor, or if I can just wait until my Thursday appointment. They are very careful and would have me come in today "just in case" but I live an hour and a half away and it is getting exhausting constantly driving back and forth. I have had frequent braxton hicks contractions throughout the whole third trimester (sometimes strong and only 3-5 minutes apart). However, I've had none in the last 24 hours, which I find weird. I actually have energy and feel "good" so I am hesitant to call. On Monday I was still only a finger tip dialated with no other progress made.

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Tanikit

Watch the number of kicks you are feeling - I probably would not drive an hour and a half if low sugars were the only sign you were seeing but if you feel limited kicks or have any abnormal discharge then I would. You could call them and see - I probably would do that and tell them all the signs you have been having including the energy levels etc. Then if they are worried they will tell you to come in - tell them you are far away - do you have to drive yourself - if yes then make sure you sugars are ok to drive and that you have fast acting glucose for on the way there if you do go.

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Lizzie G

im not one for embracing excessive appointments but a sudden drop in insulin requirement can mean that placenta is degrading; i would be on the phone to the doctor/driving the hour and a half regardless of babys movements if my insulin requirement suddenly dropped at 38 weeks.

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jjas0930

I've continued to need less insulin throughout breakfast and into lunch today. I'm actually enjoying this a little....ate a little dessert with lunch! :-) Energy levels have stayed high and still no contractions.

 

Tanikit - I just got off the phone with the nurse from the Diabetes Center and she pretty much gave me the same advice - to pay attention to fetal movement. Baby has been very active lately so I guess I'm not as worried about that. My husband has the day off from work so he is able to drive me today if need be. She said that although there is no guarantee, this could be a sign that my body is gearing up for labor and to look for other signs as well.

 

Lizzie - I feel weird complaining about feeling "good" and needing less insulin. Although, I've come this far I'd rather be safe than sorry. I did have an ultrasound Monday and the placenta was still in good shape but I guess a lot can happen in a few days.

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Tanikit

Keep us updated and keep an eye on yourself and your baby's movement. Hopefully your baby is gearing up to make an appearance because natural labour is always the best option if you can manage it without putting the baby in any risk.

 

Apparently placental degradation may be one of the signs that start labour (as in all placentas degenerate some) For some people they do not go into labour when this happens and that is a problem. So maybe that is why hypoglycaemia is a sign that the placenta could be starting to degenerate and ALSO a sign that labour may be beginning. I do not think that placental degeneration happens so quickly - I tried to look up how fast it can happen and could not find it on a search, but the above information was there. Can keep looking - but its probably a good thing you have an appointment tomorrow. Watch for more signs.

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