So, this has been an interesting day…our baby is 2 weeks old today, and this morning has brought the diabetes-baby balance into new perspective. I took a shower (a total gift, made possible by grandma (my mom) who is visiting and helping us get situated), and the second I got out, I was faced with a fork in the road. One path, my screaming insulin pump, reminding me I had started to change out my site and I hadn’t yet finished the process. The other path: my screaming babe, whose hunger seems all too urgent to ignore. If I take the latter path, then my body goes without insulin for 45m or longer, depending on how long she feeds. If I take the former, then those few minutes from syringe to priming to inserting could feel like an eternity in her world, and in mine.
My baby is 3.5 months old so I feel I can offer some support.
To me, pump site changes come before my baby. It’s easier on both of us, if there is someone (dad) around to try and keep her distracted so I can finish the site change. If there’s no one around, then I put her in her travel swing and finish the site change. It’s hard to try and get it finished while she’s going into Battle Cry mode, but I know that it’ll be worse for both of us if I feed her 1st. My blood sugar starts to skyrocket if I’m disconnected for longer than 20 min. Plus the likely hood of me forgetting that I need to put in a new set by the time I’m done breastfeeding is almost 100%.
If it’s my CGM, then I let that go until after she’s fed.
Another thing that’s helpful, is to keep glucose tabs in the areas where you spend the most time with your baby. Those lows can pop up quickly and the last thing you want to be doing is trying to carry your baby to the fridge when your blood sugar is 45 and dropping.
T - my blood sugar control was not something I was able to get a handle on for a long time after Deanna was born. It is finally in a good place now, and she just turned 4 months. It’s not easy to juggle taking care of your diabetes and the baby during those first couple of months. I don’t see a lot of people admitting that, but I will. Having a c section does not help either!!!
You will get through it, though! Around 3 months, for me, my daughter magically got “easier” and my diabetes started to cooperate better. Perhaps it was because I stopped breast feeding, or because my weight leveled out, too. To answer your question … I think it always depends on the moment, the situation. Go with your gut feeling and always try to make baby comfortable first. You have to do that but then you have to take care yourself asap. The biggest thing for me is low blood sugar. I know that I am no good to my daughter if my blood sugar is too low … have to take care of that immediately. High blood sugars, or what you described with your pump … important, but in most cases it will not create a dangerous situation for the baby if you are running high for a while. That’s my take on it. Others may not agree but I think that running high for a bit in this situation is less dangerous than running lows or the baby being uncomfortable.
Hi! I say if it’s a semi-dangerous situation for you…you’re low, for example…or something quick like finishing a site change (without finishing it, you could go pretty high fairly quickly), you absolutely have to put you first because a very sick mom is NOT good for baby! Mama has to come first because it’s ultimately in the best interest of the baby/child.
Things I have learned to do over the last 9 months while simultaneously breastfeeding:
test my blood sugar
fill and change a pod
let insistent dogs out to potty
turn off the burner under a forgotten whistling tea kettle
play words with friends
type an email
post to TuDiabetes
…and change a diaper
But seriously, one thing to consider is that, as the baby becomes a more efficient feeder, she’ll delay you by only 8-10 minutes tops if you choose to tend to her first.
My favorite … pumping and driving. One at a time, of course. Lucky I live in a rural place!
Thanks, Moms… it’s reassuring to know that, like so many other things throughout this process, it all gets easier and more manageable, esp with some planning. The suggestion to keep some carbs handy is an excellent one; i tend to get low frequently when I feed this little one, or rather her needing to eat happens to regularly coincide with when my BG trends low. Thankfully I’m reasonably quick at the diabetes stuff (site changes, CGM changes, and sucking down a juicebox!) so probably in the long run it won’t be too much of a choice. I think it was just the midstreamness of it that day that struck me. All in all she is developing some of her own patterns (subject to change at any moment, of course!) so it makes it, little by little, easier to schedule around. I expect we’ll get the hang of it.
@ Melissa, I need to try to attempt some of your list, you know, once I know for sure we’ve got this breastfeeding thing down pat. I’d love to be able to do any of those while I’m tending to her! I’m still just staring at her and cuddling as much as I can, which she seems to not mind.
My little one fed 12-16 times a day at first. I kept looking for stats on what would be considered “too frequent” when I found this article and finally came to terms with her feeding schedule. Now we breastfeed about 8-9 times during her waking hours and 2-3 times during the night and I feel like it’s manageable. LOL. Some babies eat every 4 hours early on, but not mine. At 9 months, every 2 hours (with some occasional 1 hour intruders) is her norm. We added in a solid meal at 5 months and she didn’t slow down on the breastfeeding. We’re now up to 3 solid meals, a snack, and finger foods and table foods…and she hasn’t slowed on the breastfeeding. But I accept that that’s what she needs.
In the beginning, because I wanted to be able to nurse comfortably in more than one room, I kept a little basket that I called my “nursing basket.” It usually had stuff like a burp rag, a nipple shield, a bottle of glucose tabs, a snack, a bottle of water, a magazine/book, my testing gear, and the remote control. If I kept it all there, I could just grab the basket and the baby or tell my husband to fetch my basket. It was never far out of reach! Also, once I discovered the walkable nursing pillow that is the My Brest Friend, I put the other nursing pillows in a closet and never looked back.
This is (of course) a terrific idea. I think I need to do this, rather than have the scattered masses of juice boxes and glucose fixes all over the house, with the burp cloths (“is this one dirty?”) and the pacifiers (“did the cat eat this one?”) and all the other paraphernalia. We’re only feeding maybe every 2-3 hours, which is ok with us, and it’s on demand for her, so if/when she needs more, naturally she gets it.
How long did you use the shield? Our LC kind of insinuated we should get rid of it, but it’s harder than I thought it would be…
Now off to shop for my special basket and all the ingredients! Have a great weekend!
I’m still using a shield. =/ I haven’t ever been able to get her to shake it. I keep it in the cleavage of my bra now (with spares in the diaper bag and the car). I wash it at least once a day, but otherwise, there it stays. I’ve tried a few times without it and she seemed really confused, so I made the conscious decision to keep using it. I could probably get her to stop with it now…but with four teeth in play, I’m actually enjoying the extra barrier. LOL
If you were experiencing clogged ducts or mastitis from it, you’d almost certainly have to stop using the shield. A friend of mine had that issue. But it was my LC who gave it to me as a last resort and it has served us well.
My baby is 3 weeks old… so i feel your pain…, but here is the truth… a screaming baby for 1 minute can mean the world of difference for your health. Baby’s cry and it’s painful for us, but they will be okay for a minute while you tend to your pump