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July 3, 2000

Family Planning

Question from Bountiful, Utah, USA:

I am an RD, CDE and work at a Diabetes Center in a hospital setting. We have a new Women's Center opening and have been asked to establish protocols/standards for monitoring a diabetic mother and newborn after delivery and throughout their hospital stay (I have been unable to find any existing guidelines in my literature search). We are particularly interested in guidelines for monitoring hypoglycemia in the infant and for the mother with gestational diabetes: we would like to know guidelines for monitoring her blood sugar levels after delivery. We have had both mothers and babies go home with blood sugar problems and want to prevent this.


For guidelines in monitoring the mother after delivery a good resource is Don Coustan’s text on Diabetes in Pregnancy. Most mothers with gestational diabetes revert to normoglycemia very quickly (within 24-48 hours) after delivery. However, if you are concerned about a patient, then send her home with a glucose meter and have her continue to check blood sugar values. These can be reviewed over the next week for assessment of glucose control. The same glucose parameters apply as used during the pregnancy.