After I posted about Miles’s C-Section birth I got some really great questions about what my diabetes labor and c-section delivery were like. I decided a Q&A post would be the perfect way to answer some of your questions! Here are some of your questions from Instagram and here on the blog!
My Diabetes Labor and C-Section Delivery Q&A
Were you able to eat/drink during labor? When did they cut you off?
Yes. My hospital let me eat and drink during labor – even after we started a pitocin drip. They only told me to stop once we realized that baby wasn’t handling contractions well and a C-section was very likely. ..which was about 30min before I went in for surgery.
Could you wear your insulin pump/dexcom during labor & surgery?
I was able to wear both my dexcom and omnipod during labor and manage my own sugars. The trade off was that I would allow the nurses to test my sugar with their meter and collect a log sheet (of how much I was bolusing and what my basal rates were) every 2-3 hours.
For the surgery I was allowed to keep both on as well but since I knew I was going to be suspending my insulin after delivery anyways I just pulled off my insulin pump. I took it off about 20 min before surgery and didn’t need to put it back on until about 5-7hr after delivery.
How were your sugars?
My sugar were really steady throughout the whole labor process; never budging out of the 80-110 mg/dL range, even with meals. Contractions and induction drugs did not influence my sugars in the slightest.
During the c-section (which took about 30-40 minutes), my sugar only dropped 10pts; from 80 to 70 mg/dL. However, after surgery it shot up to 220 mg/dL. Now, I’m not 100% sure why this happened, but from the pictures of my c-section I spotted a “dextrose” syringe hooked up to my IV bag…I’m thinking that when they saw my sugar go down to 70mg/dL they added sugar to my IV since it’s hospital policy to correct anything 70 or lower. I didn’t correct the 220 blood sugar because I knew that my resistance had dropped significantly since my placenta was out… and I wanted to see how much the 220 would come down on its own. After about an hour I was 140 mg/dL.
For the next week or so I was only using about 5-8 units per day total (both basal & bolus). To give you a point of reference… I was using about 35 per day during pregnancy and abot 20 per day pre-pregnancy.
Did you get a catheter?
Yes. They put in the catheter immediately after I got the spinal. Thank goodness because I didn’t feel a thing! I was able to take it out once I got feeling back in my legs and I was strong enough to get up and go to the bathroom on my own. Which I think was within 12 hours or so.
Did baby have a low BG? When do they check his BG and how often?
No. Thankfully Miles did not have low blood sugar. They started checking his sugar (via heel pricks) after he was able to get a solid hour of breastfeeding in. After that initial check they wanted to check him every 3-4 hours for the next 12 hours. He passed with flying colors every time!
Tips for good BG control to avoid baby low blood sugar.
Keep your bloods in the 70-120mg/dL range. Anything over 120mg/dL and your babe will start making his own insulin. I made sure I ate meals/snacks that I had mastered the bolus for and that had little to no carbs.
This wasn’t too hard after the 32 week mark when resistance typically plateaus (and even decreases slightly).
Were you able to delay cord clamping and do immediate skin to skin?
Yes. My doctor delayed cord clamping during my c-section for about 2 minutes. Though I would have preferred longer, I didn’t want to push it since the longer I’m left “open” the higher the risk of infection. We were also able to do immediate skin to skin. Miles first did skin to skin with Justin then me.
Did he have trouble breastfeeding after the c-section?
No trouble at all. Miles was able to get a good latch right away.
How are sugars with breastfeeding?
I know they say that breastfeeding drops you, but I haven’t experienced that. My insulin needs are definitely lower than what they were during pregnancy, even pre-pregnancy, but they don’t drop when I breastfeed. They don’t rise either.