Post-partum hypoglycaemia in lactating women with type 1 diabetes: a pilot study using continuous glucose monitoring

Berit Inkster, Jacqui Elder, Claire Alexander, Louise Osborne, Nicola N Zammitt, Brian M Frier


Aims: To observe glucose profiles in post-partum women with type 1 diabetes with a particular focus on hypoglycaemia.

Methods: Post-partum women with type 1 diabetes were studied for 4 weeks using home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). Episodes of hypoglycaemia were documented using self-reported questionnaires.

Results: Of 15 consenting participants, only six women completed the study, four of whom breastfed their baby. HBGM was performed a median of 7 times per day. No severe hypoglycaemia (requiring third party assistance) occurred, but a median of 17 (range 10–23) episodes of mild hypoglycaemia occurred. In all participants, CGM revealed several episodes of hypoglycaemia that were not detected by capillary blood glucose testing.

Conclusions: Asymptomatic hypoglycaemia is common during breastfeeding. Recruitment and retention difficulties illustrate the challenge of studying glycaemia and intensive interventions in the post-partum period. Education programmes may help to reduce post-partum hypoglycaemia in women with type 1 diabetes.

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