Prepping for such an important time in my life is exciting and very scary and I’m just wondering what some people’s experience has been. Where was your A1C before you got pregnant? How big was your baby? How difficult was managing your BG during pregnancy or was it harder during one time versus another? I’m worried about how I will manage with cravings for the things I really shouldn’t be eating and just wonder if I will be able to get through 9 months of self-control. I have fears of not being able to have a vaginal birth (due to the baby being too big), fears of ruining my kid’s development if my sugar isn’t in good enough control…the list goes on. I would love to hear from people about these things as my husband and I are family planning.
I was very anxious about getting pregnant as well…that was 19 years ago. I began pumping about 4 months before I became pg, and I honestly believe the pump was the secret to my success. I honestly cannot remember what my A1c was prior to any of my pregnancies, but I can tell you they improved throughout the 9 months and each one of my children were perfect. Managing my bg’s was the biggest struggle, tbh. The first trimester, i suffered several lows. It was imperative for me to test throughout the middle of the night. My husband would test me around 2am. Several times, more than I can remember, I was low. Second trimester was a breeze. Rarely and lows and not a whole lot of insulin adjustments. Third trimester my insulin requirements almost tripled. This is necessary for the baby to grow and develop properly. With all 3 of my pregnancies I was induced around 37-39 weeks to prevent baby from being too big to deliver. All 3 were delivered vaginally 7.2, 7.14, 8.1 pounds.
Cravings…you’ll have them. And honestly, don’t ignore them. It’s kind of fun to embrace all the things that happen in a pregnancy. Enjoy the process and read everything you can get your hands on. This is an exciting time. Good luck and enjoy!!
I have had 2 diabetic pregnancies. My hba1c before both was low 5s. I did and continue to do MDI.
It was pretty difficult to control my blood sugar during pregnancy, but I did it with low carb diet, and frequent abundant dosing of insulin, and heaps of testing. My first pregnancy my total insulin dose increased from about 20 units / day up to about 90 units / day at the end. My second pregnancy increased from again about 20 units/ day up to about 120 units/ day at the end. I am now down again to just over 20 units insulin / day most days.
My first daughter was vaginal delivery at 38 weeks. She weighed 7lb 3 oz.
My second daughter was cesarian (nothing to do with diabetes - she was tied up in the umbilical cord and couldn’t drop down - after 3 days in labor we had no choice). She was born at 39 1/2 weeks at 7 lbs 6 oz. Both girls perfectly healthy.
Thank you so much for sharing. It’s really a huge relief to get some real stories from people. None of my friends are diabetic (that I know of) and I have no one to really speak to about this stuff. It’s somewhat helpful to read articles but it just doesn’t compare to hearing someone’s personal experience.
I should have mentioned that I’m type 1 (newly discovered as of a few months ago though I’ve had diabetes since 2001). As part of my preplanning I started using a pump to get my numbers in better control. Using the pump has been
a better experience than I imagined, but I’m still tweaking (um, often). One doctor’s plan was basically to have me stay off carbs during my pregnancy and I had to ditch her because she was unpleasant and too unrealistic to deal with. The one I’m seeing now was basically telling me I should plan to eat the same things for the pregnancy because the way one little food can throw the whole regimen off is just not worth it. So my most recent A1C was 6.6 and she said it’s okay to try now, but I’ve really been trying to like nail down certain foods that I can keep eating during pregnancy. I realize things won’t be perfect when it finally happens, but I’d like to do what I can to make for a better outcome.
It’s nice to hear you both had healthy, “normal” sized babies. Um, Sarah- I will have to remember what you said about embracing cravings…Idk if that’s so wise for me. Although, I’ve learned over my years being diabetic that trying to fight cravings usually leads me to binge on nonsense as opposed to just satisfying the craving.
I came here looking for this topic. I’m on day 2 of a year of diabetic austerity. I let myself enjoy my honeymoon knowing that when I got back, I would need to buckle down and get really tight control before we could even think about trying.
Day 2 of trying to hit the “below 140 all the time” target. I wake up feeling terrible but Dexcom thinks my sugar is 138. Fingerstick reveals otherwise, 232. How? I hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours. Well, Omnipod hadn’t noticed an occlusion.
Day 2 of trying to get my sugars perfect and both my devices fail me while I sleep.
I was pretty discouraged already. I was hoping the doctor at my annual exam would say anything reassuring. She didn’t. Maybe she can’t. She just said she’s glad I’m thinking ahead and I should plan to meet with the high risk maternal team after I get my sugars down into the low 6 A1C range and before I start trying.
Jeez. I just want a baby. My office neighbor made one on accident. Sigh.
Don’t be so down (okay, try not to be). I have been thinking about pregnancy since late 2013/beginning of 2014 and it’s been a slow (seemingly) process to get in a “safe” place. Believe me, when I saw my gyne and she told me to get my A1C to 6 (I was at 7) I wanted to cry. I actually started using Omnipod too in November to help and it’s not perfect, but it has helped considerably in my overall control. But I’ve been, and still am, going through a tweaking process that I don’t think will ever cease and it has taken more than a few days to even get to the most recent 6.6 A1C. Don’t beat yourself up- I get discouraged, tired, anxious, crazed over trying to make sure I’m in control and in a good place for baby making. It’s rough I know- that’s why I started this post because I’ve been struggling to deal with all this preparation.
We are going to have good and bad days- just work on having more good because the bad is just bound to happen, and it’s okay every here and there. Keep trying and stay focused- you, me and our babies will be better for it in the end.
T1D here, and my daughter is 15 months old. She was born healthy (and not huge)! Pregnancy with diabetes is HARD, but it’s totally doable with focus and tenacity. I know it’s been said before, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish when it’s for your child. My A1cs before pregnancy were always around 7 (and they are again now), but somehow I managed low 6’s and high 5’s while pregnant. Seriously, it makes you a bit of a wonder woman.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re taking the right approach (“practicing” having really tight blood sugars before actually getting pregnant)! Or at least, that’s what I did too. My only other tight-control tip is to practice treating mild lows with 5-7g of sugar instead of the generally-recommended 15. For me, that was one of the hardest techniques to get used to, as I generally think “EAT ALL THE THINGS!” whenever my blood sugar drops, but then of course I always spike high afterward.
Thanks, Jenn4. This is very encouraging to hear especially since I’ve had moments of thought where I feel like if I knew a baby were in me I’d probably have more motivation to keep it together (it’s def. harder when the baby is a thought).
I’ll use your low advice too cause I over treat at times and then want to shoot myself for ending up with a high. It’s just tough when you’re feeling all out of wack and have to wait to retest to see if there’s been a change. Lows just don’t feel good and I don’t want a poor baby to go through that either.
Did you eat carbs during your pregnancy? Did you eat normal carbs (like, more than just veggies)? I’m trying to get a sense of how “normal” people have eaten while pregnant. I feel like banning certain things will make things worse for me cause I’ll want to binge.
At my pre-wedding appointment my endo did the happy dance. I had gotten my A1C down from 7.9 to 7.1. Yay, I also did happy dance. Then I said this is good but I need to get it down a little more if I want to think about getting pregnant after wedding.
Boy did she get serious. She stopped her happy dance and was like you need to start sending me your sugars 2x per week and talk to the nutritionist and blaaaaaaah.
It was so much work to get it down to 7.1. I feel like it’s exponentially more work to get to a 6. But here’s for trying.
Today sucked. I’ve eaten 700 calories of protein bars and no other food, and run 2 miles, and my sugar still wants to camp high. Why?!?!
I definitely ate carbs (I think about 100-150g/day). Baby needs them, and so do you (for both nutrition and sanity)! It’s just a matter of being careful and counting everything. For example, I learned on this site that all slices of bread are NOT created equal- read each nutrition label, as the carb and fiber contents of different brands can vary by a huge amount. I do remember my insulin resistance got really high in the morning while I was pregnant and I did decrease my total breakfast carbs during the second or third trimester, but that was my only noticeable “cutback”. At the same time, pregnant ladies do eat ALL the time, so hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, cottage cheese, and almonds were daily staples in my diet. My low-ish carb snacks also included Light-and-Fit Greek yogurt, apples, very dark chocolate, and plain almond milk. Good luck, it seems scary but you can do this!! Keep coming back to this site, too- the ladies here were absolutely AMAZING during my entire pregnancy.
Jenn those snacks sound great. Are you a vegetarian? Husband is worried I’ll have to eat meat but I don’t want to.
I’m not a vegetarian, but I know you can definitely carry a safe, healthy pregnancy without meat. You’ll just have to be conscientious to get enough protein from cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, beans, etc. I used myfitnesspal.com to track food from time to time to make sure I was getting enough iron, calcium, protein, and calories. I also recommend getting the Mayo Clinic pregnancy book (NOT What to Expect when you’re Expecting)- it’s a good read for both you and your husband before and during pregnancy, and it has some diet guidelines in there too.
And it’s on kindle.
Hi all! Just found out I am pregnant (4 weeks and a few days). I got my A1c to the low 6’s before we even started trying and here are my tips:
You know how your doc tells you to give insulin at least 15 minutes before you eat? Do it. It works wonders on lowering A1c.
Test like you will while pregnant: 1 hour and 2 hours after eating. Don’t correct if you see a high until 2 hours after (I’m not a doctor, though. Ask yours!) Testing after meals will help you see if your insulin:carb ratios are right
Sometimes test in the middle of the night. It sucks, but doing this helped me see if my basals were working right while I am sleeping.
Don’t forget that YOU CAN DO IT. Seriously.
Thank you for this! Great tips and I have not heard number 1…are you a pump user? I’ve been trying to meet goals as if pregnant (i.e. below 100, not 140). All of what you’ve said makes sense. Thanks for sharing this, it was very helpful. When you say low 6’s, do you remember what your A1C actually was? Just curious.
Good luck and congratulations!
Yes I use a Minimed Paradigm pump. I actually took a break from it for a year and a half to get back into good testing habits. My A1c the last time I was on a pump was 7.9 (4/14) then when I was on MDI I got it down to 6.5 (7/14), 6.6 (10/14) and then I went back on the pump in November and I was 6.4 (1/15) and my last was 6.1 (4/15). I was having a lot of lows, though, with that 6.1, so make sure your doc is making sure you are not just having a good A1c, but are also SAFE. Good luck!
When I bought this on Kindle I also bought “Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-existing Diabetes.” It told me exactly what I needed to hear after I spent the night, probably dehydrated from heat, with dexcom waking me up every hour to remind me I was still sitting at 250, dosing again, only to be woken up the next hour with sugar that had not budged.
It said you will do well, you can do this, and you will not be perfect. You will not hit the target sugars every time even if all you do is try. But trying is worth it.
Thanks book for making me consider crying on the train.
Okay I don’t know what MDI is, but I’m assuming it has something to do with manually dispensing insulin? Any who, I have actually been trying this 15 minute advanced bolus- I think I’m seeing the logic behind it. I will keep at it and see if there’s any marked difference although I can only try it when I’m positive of my carb count without first seeing my food (probably won’t be able to do it when I eat out). And I hear ya about the lows- I’ve experienced the “good” A1C that was just masking the range of lows I’d experienced in the process. Not fun and nothing to be proud of. Thanks again.
MDI is Multiple Daily Injections
I’m currently 37w 3d with my second pregnancy.
My first pregnancy I started out with an A1C of 7.4… a little high! I quickly got it down to 6.0, with the unfortunate help of some first trimester lows. I actually had to cut back on my insulin pump settings until about half way through my second trimester. After that, my insulin requirements quickly increased and I wound up taking a little more than double the total daily dose I was on pre-pregnancy. My lowest A1C was 5.2% by the end of pregnancy. Bolusing 15 minutes or more before meals and taking walks after eating helped keep my blood sugars from spiking. I quickly noticed patterns based on my diet and was able to eliminate any foods that tended to spike my post-meal readings. My daughter was born via c-section at 39.5 weeks at 8 lb 2oz.
This pregnancy has been a bit more challenging. I was at about 7.1% prior to getting pregnant, which is the highest I’d been since before having my daughter. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and just started on metformin, which I think helped me to conceive. I quit the metformin as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I also started this pregnancy with much higher insulin needs. I’ve had to ramp up my insulin frequently throughout this pregnancy and my A1C has been stuck between 5.8 and 6.3%. My health care team wants it below 6%. Baby is set to be born via repeat C-section when I am 39w. My fluid levels have been measuring high throughout most of the pregnancy. Baby is also measuring big. At my 37w appointment, she was 8lb 10oz, up from 6lb 2oz two weeks before! I know there is some error to these scans, but over 2lb in 2 weeks is 4x faster than typical weight gain!
Having diabetes in pregnancy is definitely hard, but not impossible. My two pregnancies have both been healthy. My first daughter was born with perfect APGAR scores, but still had some blood sugar issues after birth and had to stay for a day or two in the NICU to get IV dextrose. I’m hoping to avoid that this time by supplementing with formula earlier if need be. Good luck!