November is Diabetes Awareness Month so I want to share important things I wish I read before going into my pregnancy as a diabetic. Every body, medical condition, and situation is entirely different so consult your doctor with any questions you have, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor any questions at all especially during this time of your life. I sat down with my PCP, endocrinologist, and OBGYN to make a list of things that would have made me feel less scared and alone in early pregnancy.
Here are 20 things to note:
1. You’re going to feel hard on yourself for not being able to control your blood sugars like you once could before growing another life inside of you, try to give yourself some grace.
2. First trimester lows are a real thing.
3. There will be times you feel like you are consuming insulin like water, don’t freak out.
4. Your carb ratio will be very different during pregnancy than before, brace yourself for a big change.
5. Just because your blood sugars aren’t in range doesn’t mean your babies aren’t. Try to find comfort in that.
6. You’re going to test your blood sugars more than twice as much as you did before, it’s normal to feel extra worried during this time. You’re not alone.
7. Having multiple glucose meters to read your blood sugars in different spots (nightstand, car, purse, work etc) is extremely helpful.
8. If you are second-guessing whether or not you have enough juice/sugar in the fridge before bed, just go to the store and get more. You won’t be sorry, you can never be too prepared.
9. Your partner or whoever you live with should prepare themselves for the changes that come with your diabetes also. You might seem more demanding than usual and that is completely normal.
10. You’re going to have to advocate for yourself and your health on new levels.
11. Educate yourself about your insurance plan ahead of time so you know exactly what medications are covered, what you can get more of, what your max medication coverage is, etc.
12. Do not let anyone tell you that because you’re pregnant and have diabetes you can’t have a life insurance policy, there are multiple options as far as making sure your baby will be financially secure. Get a variety of information based on where you live and always get a second opinion, there are options for you.
13. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean your baby will, the statistics around that are actually very low.
14. Stress can cause your blood sugars to fluctuate on top of the changes your body is already enduring, try to prioritize your peace.
15. Ask your doctor about different diabetic programs and resources their clinic offers, there is a lot of innovative and hands on help being offered specifically for diabetics.
16. Don’t feel like you have to settle with whatever doctor was given to you. You deserve to feel supported and confident with whoever is assisting you manage your diabetes and everything else during this time.
17. Believe in the power of your voice and don’t be afraid to question what you’re being told.
18. Plan (or don’t plan) for whatever birth experience you desire but educate yourself on all of the possible outcomes, last minute cesarean sections are common among diabetics so look more into that to avoid any surprises— just for your own comfort!
19. Just because they tell you you are going to have a big baby due to your diabetes or that your baby is measuring large does not mean that it’s 100% certain. It’s entirely possible to have a vaginal birth as a diabetic and also find out your baby isn’t as big as they thought or measured to be.
20. Everything you’re going through right now will be so worth it soon. Be patient with yourself, reach out for support, ask your doctor questions, and try to use this time to find peace even in the midst of drinking all the juice and having all the insulin. You got this!