Research Article

Self-monitoring of blood glucose in diabetic pregnancy.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 24 November 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:1333
  1. I Peacock,
  2. J C Hunter,
  3. S Walford,
  4. S P Allison,
  5. J Davison,
  6. P Clarke,
  7. E M Symonds,
  8. R B Tattersall


    Admission to hospital is usually recommended to achieve the best possible diabetic control during pregnancy. We have used blood glucose monitoring at home to find out if patients can achieve equally good control outside hospital. Twenty-five consecutive diabetic patients were studied, of whom 20 had taken insulin before pregnancy. Six of their 14 previous pregnancies had ended in perinatal death. The 25 women performed 4247 blood glucose measurements during their pregnancies. Overall the mean blood glucose concentration was 7.1 mmol/l (128 mg/100 ml); before meals the mean was 6.5 mmol/l (117 mg/100 ml). Mean concentrations were lower in the third trimester, but at no stage was control in hospital significantly better than at home. The mean hospital stay before delivery was 22 days, and all patients had live babies. Monitoring blood glucose concentrations at home produces greater understanding and motivation among patients, improves control early in pregnancy, and shortens time spent in hospital.