Doctor Verified

High Sugar Level During Pregnancy: Expert Explains Dos, Don'ts, And Causes

High blood sugar levels during pregnancy can pose risks to both the mother and the developing foetus. Thus, it’s important to keep it under control.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: May 13, 2023 12:30 IST
High Sugar Level During Pregnancy: Expert Explains Dos, Don'ts, And Causes

Malaria & Dengue Day 2023: Fever Causes, Symptoms and Prevention Guide - Onlymyhealth

During pregnancy, maintaining normal blood sugar levels is crucial for the health of both the mother and the baby. High blood sugar levels, also known as gestational diabetes, can pose risks to both the mother and the developing foetus. In this article, Dr Dilip Nandamuri, Sr Consultant Physician and Diabetologist, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, provides the do’s, don'ts, and common causes related to high sugar levels during pregnancy. 

Causes of High Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy

Hormonal changes

Dr Nandamuri said, "During pregnancy, the hormonal changes can affect the body's ability to use the insulin effectively, resulting in high blood sugar levels."

Insulin Resistance

"The placenta produces hormones that can cause insulin resistance in the mother's body, making it harder for insulin to regulate blood sugar levels effectively," he added.

Excessive Weight Gain

According to Nandamuri, "Being overweight or gaining excessive weight during pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes. Thus, it is important to maintain a healthy weight through proper nutrition and regular exercise."

Also Read7 Tips To Manage Stress During Pregnancy

Genetic Predisposition

"A family history of diabetes or a personal history of gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of developing high blood sugar levels during pregnancy," said Dr Nandamuri.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Dr Nandamuri said that women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or prediabetes are also at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.


Follow a Balanced Diet

The expert recommended consulting with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to create a meal plan that includes a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. He added, "Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day and include fibre-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes."

Monitor your Blood Sugar Levels

"Regularly check your blood sugar levels as per your healthcare provider's recommendation. This will help you track sugar fluctuations and help to make adjustments to your diet and lifestyle accordingly," added Dr Nandamuri.

Engage in Physical Activity

Regular exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels. So, consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate level of physical activity suitable for your condition. Dr Nandamuri said that brisk walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are generally considered safe exercises during pregnancy.

Also ReadWomen’s Health: Dos And Don'ts During Pregnancy

Take Prescribed Medications

Dr Nandamuri said, "If necessary, your healthcare provider may prescribe insulin or medications to help control your blood sugar levels. Take your medications as directed and follow up with your healthcare provider regularly."

Attend Prenatal Appointments

Regular prenatal check-ups are essential for monitoring your overall health and the development of the baby. These appointments allow healthcare professionals to assess your blood sugar levels, provide guidance, and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.


Avoid excessive sugary foods and drinks

Dr Nandamuri said, "Minimise the consumption of sugary foods and beverages, such as candies, sodas, desserts, and processed snacks. These food items can cause sharp increases in blood sugar levels and contribute to gestational diabetes."

Limit Refined Carbohydrates

"Foods made from white flour, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries, can rapidly increase blood sugar levels. So, opt for whole-grain alternatives that provide more fibre and have a lower impact on blood sugar," said Dr Nandamuri.

Also Read: Signs Of Pregnancy Other Than A Missed Period

Avoid Skipping Meals

Regular and timely meals are important for managing blood sugar levels. According to Dr Nandamuri, "Skipping meals can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, potentially causing high levels. Instead, aim for three main meals and healthy snacks in between."

Do Not Self-Medicate

It is important to consult your healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Dr Nandamuri said, "This is because substances in these medications may have an impact on blood sugar levels and can be harmful during pregnancy."


Every pregnancy is unique, and it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider for personalised advice and guidance regarding your specific health condition. They can provide you with the most accurate information and help you manage your blood sugar levels effectively during pregnancy.

Image Credits: freepik