Pregnant women with diabetes should have their HbA1c levels continuously monitored, according to UK researchers.
Continuous glucose monitoring lowers the risk of complications, such as excessive birth weight, according to results from the randomised trial published online in the BMJ.
Researchers from Ipswich Hospital in Suffolk recruited 71 pregnant women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes from antenatal clinics in the UK.
The women were randomly assigned to standard antenatal care – intermittent self monitoring of glucose levels using the finger prick technique – or intermittent monitoring plus continuous glucose monitoring, using glucose values from subcutaneous tissues measured electronically every 10 seconds, giving up to 288 measurements a day.
The researchers found that women in the continuous glucose monitoring group had lower mean levels of HbA1c from 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation, and improved blood glucose control during the third trimester, compared to women receiving standard antenatal care. Babies of mothers who had continuous monitoring also had lower birth weight and reduced risk of excessive birth weight.