Question about sites for the omnipod

Hi everyone- I’m new here, my son just had his training last Friday and is now doing the saline until we see the endo on Wed. my questions is that he say’s it feels like there is a needle in him at all times. Now of course we know there is but I guess I was under the impression that you didn’t really feel it after the insertion. He is 12 and very lean, we already had 1 occlusion on his arm so we are now doing the stomach. Maybe this isn’t the best site for him either, any input from experienced users would be great. I just want this to work out for him so badly! Thanks!

Hi Lisa,

The needle actually retracts, leaving only the plastic cannula in him. Caleb has never felt anything other than the initial insertion - he doesn’t feel the cannula in him. Having worn one too, I had the same experience. You may however, as you have suggested hit a muscle making it uncomfortable. We definitely had to experiment in the beginning to find the best placement and weren’t always successful, but once we got a sense of what works for Caleb, it’s been smooth sailing with only the occasion bump along the way.

Did Insulet give you the placement “tips & tricks” sheet?


I do have times where I can feel the cannula; it was way worse in the beginning and even though I don’t think I have changed anything, it doesn’t seem to happen anymore. My arms and stomach are the sensitive areas for this. I have experienced with the pinch up vs. don’t pinch up on insertion. Sometimes in my arms I can feel a twinge with each bolus, when this happens, I have discovered if I relax my arm the twinge goes away.

So, my only answer is, there seems to be a learning curve. I was VERY frustrated the first 2-3 months, because it seemed like a really LONG learning curve, not being able to test out a new site for 3 days. That being said, the learning curve won’t last forever. Keep notes on sites you use, which direction the cannula is facing (toward midline of body, away, etc.) and your son will find sites that he prefers - then just make sure he rotates enough that there is ample recovery time before reusing the site. My favorite site is my “lower” back, just above the beltline.

Hi KcF,

I’m also new to the pod and am having challenges finding good sites-sites that have good absorption and are comfortable. You said you wear yours on your back above the beltline. I think absorption wise it would be a good site for me but I can’t help but wonder how uncomfortable is it when you are sitting or lying down? I have low back problems and am concerned it would throw off my back alignment which is shaky enough as it is!

Hi Lisa

I have to admit that I could feel the cannula in me when I first started and my first site was back of upper arm and I did get twinges and even momentarily painful twinges when moving my arm certain ways. It wasn’t quite as bad the 2nd time I used that site but I find it not as comfortable as my abdomen where there is more fat. I do feel the cannula at times even on my abdomen but it’s generally a passing sensation. My diabetes educator said in her experience that the pod works best on “larger” people and I believe she meant heavier people with more fat. I am on the leaner side myself. I love the pod on my leg but my sugars run high all the time when it’s there, assuming due to not much fat there. Not sure if anything can be done about that (a different program for days on my leg for example). So I guess I’ll see how it all rolls out. I just started a month ago. I hope it works out for your son. I could see how this could be great for a 12 year old vs having the entanglement of a tubed pump. I love the advantages the pod has over the tubed pumps and want it to work out. I just don’t see myself with a traditional pump. At least it sounds like it’s not uncommon to go through these “growing pains” in the beginning. I keep telling myself that!

When I have it on my back or the flank, as I have seen it referred to, I usually don’t even know it is there. I do not notice it when sleeping, I think when I sit the small of my back isn’t pressed into the chair. For some reason, I CAN feel in in a bothersome way when I am driving and it is on my left side. It must press into the car seat. Luckily, my car has those inflatable seat things? And I just increase the center inflation to relieve pressure from the back. It also sometimes gets in the way of my sons piggy back rides.

You could kind of try out the area (a little hard to tell with out the cannula) by taking a used pod, and sticking it on the place you are thinking of using. Wear it around, sit, lay down, and see how much contact you feel there.

Many people have different basal rates for different sites on their body. You can create a program called LEG with higher basals and just switch to that when using your leg. Maybe your educator could easily suggest a basal rate based on your sugars from your last Leg use?

Thanks for the feedback and different basal rate suggestion. It occurred to me but I didn’t know if that was done. I have been keeping records daily since my start date so the data can be evaluated. It’s very obvious that my sugar stays high all the time when the pod is on my leg. I’ll ask about it for sure on wed when I have my appt.

I actually have one of the “trial” pods that you can just apply to yourself to see how it feels. I need to put that one on my backside to see how it works. I can always take it off if I don’t like it. I was really wondering abut riding in the car with the pod on your back.

Thank you everyone, it’s so nice to be able to talk with others who have gone through this also. I’m thinking we will just have to keep trying different sites until he can find at least a couple to use, I just hope we don’t get too many occlusions since the pods are not cheap! We never got a site tips and tricks sheet from our trainer, is that something I can find on the insulet website?

Hi Lisa!

I find that whenever my pod is placed on a spot that is too lean, the site hurts. It’s a huge learning process but I’ve found that when I place the pod somewhere with more “cushion” it hurts less. This will prove difficult for your son since he’s so lean, but after time once scar tissue builds up a bit he won’t feel it nearly as much.

Best of luck!

my daughter is 14, and has had the omnipod for almost 3 yrs, she says your son will get used to it, but sleeping with it bothers her. She swims with it, no problems, gym class and sports no problems. When we were trained, our trainer made me volunteer myself to also wear one (the pod). I must admit, our kids are real troopers! Some pods dont work properly, dont worry, u will always have enough pods. Good luck.

This week I am trying the pod on my calf for the very first time. I’m having great results & it’s probably the most convenient site that I’ve used so far! I am really surprised because I am a runner & have fairly muscular legs.

We are officially pumping! Saw the endo and educator both today, they seem to agree that for now the only spot fatty enough for the pod is just below the belt. It was his last choice for a site but he say’s he can’t even feel that it’s on so that must have been our problem. So happy for him to have this kind of freedom, he even had basketball tonight and didn’t have any issues with it at all!! Thanks everyone for all of your input!

My son favors placing the pod on his flanks just under the beltline but will also wear it on each arm. He rotates between 2 sites on each flank and the two arms giving him 6 spots. The sites do get some irritation and it is good to rotate but once they find a good site they want to use it over and over. My son likes to use the flank because he can wear compression pants to play hockey or other activites and it keeps the pod tight and in place; With the arm, he has to wrap it. We have not had much luck with the belly.

Your 12 year old son will love the freedom to eat at will with the pump as he starts through his growth spurts where boys are always hungry. My son put on 15 pounds in the first 3 months on the pump. (He lost 40 before diagnosis). He has the carbs for all of his favorite snacks memorized. He said that was the worst part about diabetes - being so hungry but not wanting to eat because of the shot.