Congratulations! You’re pregnant! But oh shit, now that means you’ll soon be dealing with… yep…pregnancy insulin resistance. Insulin resistance during pregnancy is easily one of the most frustrating parts of being pregnant and having diabetes. But I promise, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s painted to be.
I want to share with you the six tips that helped my reign in my insulin resistance during pregnancy so that I could actually enjoy my pregnancy and not stress about blood sugars the entire time.
And if you’ve been pregnant and have any great tips on how you handled insulin resistance during pregnancy, let me know in the comments below!
My 6 Tips for Handling Insulin Resistance During Pregnancy
1. Stay on top of it!
It is a lot easier to stay in range when you are constantly making little tweaks…even if it’s just a quarter of a unit. For me, this meant making adjustment to my insulin every 2-3 days. It may seem like an extra half unit in the morning won’t make much of a difference, but you’d be surprised!
This is where having a CGM is super helpful because while your mind is wrapped up in baby names, your CGM can show you your blood sugar patterns and where you need to make adjustments.
2. Know how to drop a sugar, fast!
High blood sugars are inevitable during a diabetic pregnancy. But try not to stress about it, just focus on bringing it down.
And during pregnancy you may need a little more than just insulin + time to bring your blood sugar down. Some of my favorite ways to nudge my sugar back into range fast are:
- Going on a walk immediately after an injection
- Taking a warm shower or bath immediately after an injection
- Yoga/stretching immediately after an injection
These all get the insulin to circulate better and faster, bringing your blood sugar down quickly. Here are some of my other tips to bringing down a high blood sugar.
3. Eat Low Carb
Ahh yes, the rule of small numbers. There is a lot less variability in blood sugar when you’re eating foods that don’t require a lot of insulin. Missing a dose (or not giving enough of a dose) for your egg breakfast will give you a lot less of a spike than if you were to miss a dose (or not give enough of a dose) for your french toast breakfast.
4. Eat foods you know how to bolus for
We all know that sometimes when the nutrition facts say there are 15g of carbs and you bolus for 15g of carbs it’s not always a perfect match… I mean take cereal for example…do I even need to explain that one?
Depending on the fat content, protein content, and simply how your body breaks down a particular food, you may need more or less insulin than what the nutrition facts are telling you to give. That’s why I tried to stick to foods that I know how to bolus for; foods that I have mastered the bolus for!
5. …and skip foods/meals that you don’t
Does pizza always spike you? Well imagine what that spike will be like with pregnancy resistance thrown on top. It is for this very reason that during my pregnancy I avoided foods that I knew would spike me. For me, this was cereal and any food that other people would cook (including going out to eat). Sound like a total bummer, right?!
Food is a great socializer, so while I didn’t avoid these events entirely (family dinners, friends BBQ, birthday lunches at a restaurant, etc.) I had a couple tips to help me get by:
- Eat the food, but be super particular about which ones (meaning I typically stuck to a salad or grilled meats).
- Eat before you go and bring a dish that you know the bolus for.
If you explain to the people that you’re with how important it is to stay in range during pregnancy and that certain foods will spike you or are hard to bolus for, 99.99% of the time they will completely understand! And if they don’t and still look at you weird when you say pass to the pasta salad, then who cares! You are doing right by you and your baby and that’s all that matters!
6. Get Support
No one can understand the frustration of a diabetic pregnancy quite like pregnant diabetic. That’s why I loved being apart of a Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy community on Facebook. Not only do these women know EXACTLY what you are going through, but they also have great tips, advice, and offer incredible support when you need it the most. I highly recommend this group in particular.
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Question of the Day
How did you handle insulin resistance during pregnancy?