Ketone monitoring and glucagon

In addition to frequent glucose monitoring, it is recommended that you check your ketone levels when levels are high and prepare for hypoglycaemia by having glucagon to hand. 

Find out more about ketone monitoring and glucagon during pregnancy: 

Ketone monitoring 

You are advised to monitor your ketone levels because developing ketoacidosis during pregnancy can be dangerous for you and your baby. Ketoacidosis can sometimes occur even when your glucose is not particularly high, so it is important to check your ketone levels if you are unwell or being sick. If you develop ketones you should increase your insulin and fluid intake and contact your diabetes team or seek medical help if they persist. 


It is important to make sure you have appropriate treatment for hypoglycaemia, especially during pregnancy. Treatment usually means fast acting carbohydrate but you may also be prescribed the injection glucagon, so it can be administered by a partner or friend if you have a severe a hypo and you’re unconscious. Glucagon is very rarely needed but it can be reassuring for your partner to have it available. 

Morning sickness 

We have mentioned that you should check your ketones if you are being sick. Some women feel very sick in early pregnancy, but this rarely continues throughout pregnancy. The risk of severe morning sickness is not higher for women with diabetes but it can make diabetes difficult to manage. You will need to try to increase intake of fluids containing carbohydrate, continue your insulin and make sure you test your glucose frequently – follow your usual ‘Sick Day’ rules. If you are not able to keep any fluids down you should seek help from your doctor or diabetes team as help can be given for morning sickness including prescribed medication. You should test for ketones if your glucose levels are high.  

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