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Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

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CaringBridge has always been a resource for those experiencing a challenging pregnancy. In her own words, Carly shares her story of being pregnant and managing Type 1 Diabetes.

Terrified of Pregnancy

Growing up with Type 1 diabetes didn’t slow me down. While at times it was a nuisance, I never let it take control of my life and enjoyed swimming and sleepovers with friends. I certainly never thought about how diabetes would impact my adult life or pregnancy.

My husband and I were married on March 2nd, 2013. After our wedding, my endocrinologist and I had discussed what pregnancy with Type 1 diabetes would be like. In order for me to have a “normal” pregnancy, I needed to first lower my blood sugar and maintain it. When I found I was pregnant, I was terrified.

What Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes Is Like

Each trimester has been different. My first trimester was structured to deal with low blood sugars and my second trimester has been more normal. To be completely honest, my pregnancy has not been easy. Morning sickness and constipation (yes, it’s a real problem for pregnant women) have both landed me in ER. Additionally I’ve still had to manage my blood sugars.

Tips for Pregnant Diabetics

It’s been stressful and I wish that I’d had more pregnant Type 1 diabetics to talk to. For others going through the same thing, here are my 5 tips for pregnant diabetics:

  • Find an endocrinologist you trust. My doctor is amazing; he is supportive, smart and always has a plan for me. His nurses are pretty great (and smart) too!
  • Check your blood sugar A LOT. I check my blood sugar 8-12 times daily if I am not wearing my Continuous Glucose System.
  • Embrace technology. I wear a Medtronic Insulin pump and a Dexcom Sensor (CGM System), both have made the last 6 months significantly easier.
  • Eat. Don’t feel guilty if you have to sip on a Coke or can only get mac and cheese down. Manage your blood sugar and eat what you can get down.
  • Find specific support. This is not a simple pregnancy; find a clinic that offers support for pregnant women with diabetes.

My final piece of advice is to take each day as it comes; knowing that pregnancy doesn’t last forever and that in the end the difficulty will be worth it.

Have you experienced a challenging pregnancy? What advice do you have for others in the same situation? Share in the comments below. 

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Cathy Oct 16, 2014 10:40pm
Hey honey- love you, and so proud of how you manage it all! You are amazing and will be an awesome mom! I can't wait to be a grandma again:)