AskNadia: Having High & Low Blood Sugars After Giving Birth

Dear Nadia:

I’m having a lot of lows and highs that I can’t control. I just had a baby a little over 6 weeks ago and am wondering if that could be reason. Maribeth

Dear Maribeth:

The blood sugar fluctuations you are experiencing aren’t at all uncommon.

Many new mothers experience blood glucose fluctuations. Your hormones could be all over the place, you’ve just finished the hardest work a human can do—give birth—and you’re probably incredibly busy caring for your newborn. These events can stand in the way of you reestablishing manageable or acceptable blood sugar levels.


I would check in with your healthcare professional. If you cannot find the time to schedule a visit, set up a video call to go over fluctuating blood sugars. Since they have your pre pregnancy and pregnancy blood sugar history, the post pregnancy numbers you share with your medical team will help them help you strategize maintaining target blood sugar levels. They are sure to have some helpful tips for postpartum Type 1 and Type 2  mothers experiencing fluctuatong postpartum blood sugars. 


Possible Reasons for Fluctuating Blood Sugars?

The stress of being a new mother can cause the release of cortisol, a hormone that can raise your blood sugar.


Are you  breastfeeding your infant? Women with diabetes can experience lows after breastfeeding. Keep your glucose meter, insulin and glucose tabs within arms reach in case you need to test and treat yourself . Test and monitor your blood sugar frequently.


The stress of having a newborn coupled with sleep deprivation can affect your ability to treat a high or low. Healthcare professionals usually recommend that you nap when your baby is sleeping or when someone can watch over your infant while you recharge.  Review your blood sugar log to look for patterns that will help in anticipating a high or low blood sugar before or after sleeping, eating and or breastfeeding.


Discuss moderate exercise with your healthcare professional. It can help restore balance to your numbers. Even a short walk with your baby can help bring them down.


The main thing to keep in mind is that with time your blood sugar numbers should start returning to your normal range, the one you had before pregnancy and childbirth. You have achieved this before. Remind yourself with the care of your healthcare professional team, you will get there.


If you don’t already have one, get a continuous glucose monitor. Seeing your trending blood sugars on the CGM will help you adjust your glucose and insulin depending on which direction it’s heading.


Get peer support. A great organization that I love is  Diabetes Sisters. You can join a local pod near you or start your own  support group which they refer to as pods.

I hope this helps you feel better.






Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2017 by Healthline and with 24 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.


Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.


Under her reign- Diabetes Health magazine was named one of the top 10 magazines to follow in the world for 2018 by Feedspot Blog Reader


Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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