When you have Gestational Diabetes, you will need to check your blood glucose several times a day to see how well your food choices, physical activity and medications, if necessary, are affecting your glucose levels.
To check your glucose you need a glucose meter. There are many meters to choose from. Work with your diabetes care team to choose the best one for you and learn how to use it.
While there are many meters, most use similar steps for finding your blood glucose. You should go over the correct method for checking your blood glucose with your diabetes care team but here are some tips that will help make monitoring easier.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water before you check. This will clean off anything that could affect the accuracy of your check.
Have all your supplies handy. These include: your home blood glucose monitor, strips for your monitor, a lancing device and lancet, your blood glucose logbook, and a sharps container.
A new sterile lancet should be used each time you monitor.
Every meter needs a certain amount of blood to get an accurate result. To make sure you get enough blood from your finger, you can: hang your hand by your side for a few seconds, squeeze your hand from your palm to your fingertip, or shake your hand.
Although you may have heard of alternative site testing, which means using your palm, forearm or thigh instead of your finger to check your blood glucose, it is not recommended during pregnancy. Today’s meters require such a small drop of blood, most people find the fingerstick almost painless.
Change your lancing sites so your skin has a chance to heal.
Use the side of your finger instead of the pad because this part bleeds easily and doesn’t hurt as much.
Once you have a drop of blood, gently touch and hold the edge of the strip to the blood sample. Blood will be drawn into the strip. In a few seconds, you’ll know how much glucose is in your blood by the number on your meter’s window.
Write all your results in your log book. At your next diabetes care team visit, go over your results with your care team. If your results are higher than your target range you may need to make changes to your management plan to maintain the health of you and your baby.
It’s also important that during your appointment, you show your diabetes care team how you check your blood glucose. Make sure they examine your monitor and strips to make sure that your checks are accurate.
Knowing you are reaching your diabetes goals by monitoring your blood glucose on a regular basis can give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your pregnancy and ensure the health of your baby.