Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some Final Thoughts on Managing Pregnancy With Type 1 Diabetes

This post was prompted by the realization that I just ate two slices of Zachary's pizza, a chocolate chip cookie, and an iced latte for lunch on 4 units of insulin. And my after lunch bloodsugar was 94. (Type 1 diabetic ladies, breastfeed, because it makes your insulin needs miniscule!)

(Also: I love my Moby.)

So, here's a list of some of my top considerations and ideas for successfully managing a healthy pregnancy as a Type 1 lady:

1) Exercise. This is my biggest piece of advice. It will make you feel better every single day. Exercise even in the first trimester when you feel nauseous. Exercise in the last trimester even when you feel like a beached whale. It will improve your body and your emotional state. And it will also help you to recover after your pregnancy. I labored without pain medication for 26 hours and then was up walking around the hospital 14 hours after my eventual c-section, and I credit that largely with my regimen of swimming, hiking, pilates, and yoga.

2) Check your bloodsugars religiously. I checked mine 10 to 12 times a day. If you can, push your doctor to approve a continuous glucose monitor for your pregnancy. This will mean you won't have to wake up three or more times a night. But seriously: even if, like me, you are waking up at midnight, three, and five in the morning to check your bloodsugars, it's all worth it. I mean, look at him. Isn't a beautiful, healthy baby like him worth all those finger pricks?

3) Cut yourself some slack. Try to eat a very low-carb diet, but don't drive yourself crazy. If you need a bowl of ice cream to take the edge off a particularly crappy pregnancy day, take the extra insulin and treat yourself. But then get off your butt and take a walk!

4) Start managing your pregnancy before you're pregnant. Get your a1c down months in advance, get used to checking your bloodsugar all the time, and start eating a healthy diet! It will make everything so much easier.

5) Get on an insulin pump. If I'd tried to manage this pregnancy with needles, I would've been much less healthy. My insulin pump enabled me to go from an a1c of 7.4 to 5.1 in just over a year. That is huge.

Any other diabetics, or non-insulin challenged ladies, have advice for maintaining a healthy pregnancy? Please share!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had discovered your blog at the beginning of my pregnancy! You have some great tips and are proof that they work!

    The breastfeeding really does wonders for the baby and mom. I love it!

    Your little one is just soo adorable!