Aims To assess a new technique for continuous monitoring of glucose concentration during labour in diabetic mothers. A second objective was to study maternal glucose levels in relation to postnatal glucose adaptation and the need for intravenous (IV) glucose treatment in the newborn infant.
Methods Fifteen pregnant women with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus participated in this prospective pilot study. To measure their glucose control during labour we used the Continuous Subcutaneous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS; Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN, USA) to calculate the mean glucose concentration and the area under the curve (AUC) in the last 120 min before delivery. All infants of these women were transferred to the neonatal care unit for early oral feeding and blood glucose measurements up to 14 h after delivery. Infants received IV glucose if blood glucose values were repeatedly < 2.2 mmol/l.
Results All women coped well with the CGMS monitoring. AUC 0–120 min before delivery, mean glucose concentration 0–120 min before delivery and cord plasma insulin level were all significantly associated with the need for IV glucose in the newborn children.
Conclusions In this study we found an association between maternal glucose concentrations during labour and postnatal glucose adaptation and need for IV glucose treatment in the infants. Online monitoring of glucose levels during delivery might help us to achieve maternal normoglycaemia and further reduce the risk of postnatal hypoglycaemia in the offspring.