Depending on your needs, your doctor may prescribe insulin to help manage blood sugars. If you take insulin during your pregnancy, it is unlikely that you are going to need to take it for the rest of your life. Being on insulin just means that your pancreas needs a little bit of help to produce the right amount of insulin in pregnancy. Insulin will not hurt the baby, and does not cause your pancreas to become weaker in the future.
Will I Need Insulin?
It’s okay if you have to go on Insulin
“This is a little scary, I don’t know how I feel about injecting myself”
Your healthcare provider will be sure to teach you the important skills to give yourself the right dose of insulin. The trick with insulin is make sure you are taking it as prescribed, so be sure to ask for help if you’re unsure of what to do.
- Check out our tips for mastering the art of insulin below:
- Take insulin exactly as recommended by your health care team
- Regularly test your blood sugar & eat your meals with the right amounts of macro-nutrients
- Your doctor may increase your insulin dose and that’s okay. As you move through your pregnancy, it becomes harder for your pancreas to produce enough insulin.
How to inject insulin: A step by step guide from Diabetes Canada
Above all else, if you end up needing insulin, don’t blame yourself, not everyone can manage GDM with diet and exercise alone. In fact, about 15% of women will need insulin or other medication to help them achieve their target blood sugars.
It is important to watch out for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Your doctor will also advise you to watch out for symptoms of low blood sugar, especially if you are taking insulin or other blood sugar lowering medication. Low blood sugar is a reading of less than 3.8 mmol/L on a glucose meter. Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling:
- Anxious, upset, nervous
- A headache, confusion
- Like your heart is beating fast
- Blurred vision
Your healthcare providers will walk you through all this again at your appointment!