Diabetes: Staying Healthy during Pregnancy

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • Pregnancy Tracker: 30 weeks, 2 days

    Size of the Baby: 3 whole pounds.

    Biggest Obstacle: Maintaining my healthy routine on vacation.


    This weekend is my baby shower! Tomorrow, I will start my trek up the long state of California to my hometown, accompanied by my mom, sister, and best friend. We're driving because we may need the space for baby gifts! Plus, it is ridiculously expensive to fly into our airport in Humboldt County, with its tiny jets and only two gates.


    Having my current home and my hometown (where all of my extended family resides) 800 miles apart, means I am accustomed to traveling Interstate 5 for hours at a time. Long trips, particularly long car drives, create the need for extra planning for diabetics. Especially when you have diabetes and are carrying a baby!

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    The major factors to consider while traveling by car are access to healthy food and combating the effect of hours of inactivity on your body's efficient use of insulin. Here are the steps I plan to take to keep my blood sugar stable, my sanity intact, and both me and the baby healthy:


    • Increasing my basal rate during the drive. Since I will be quite inactive for several hours, I will need additional basal insulin to keep my blood sugar where I want it. I will set a temporary basal rate to begin an hour or two before we start driving. My current basal rates are between 1.1 u/hr during the dawn hours and .70 u/hr during the late afternoon. For most of the day, my basal is .75 u/hr, currently. I plan to increase my basal to 1.25 u/hr for the duration of the drive.
    • Packing healthy food for the drive. I'm pulling out our little cooler and packaging up some bell pepper slices, carrots, apples, cheese sticks, light yogurt, a couple peanut butter and banana sandwiches on whole wheat, almonds, pistachios, celery with peanut butter, and some great health bars for the trip.
    • Planning for any fast food stops. Since my travel companions are not dealing with my eating restrictions, we'll surely be stopping at least once or twice for food along the way. Knowing us, In-n-Out Burger will be our choice. Luckily, they make a "protein style" cheeseburger, which just means the burger is wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. For 11 grams of carbohydrate, that'll make a delicious treat, and I won't feel too deprived.
    • Staying hydrated. Several water bottles will be consumed during the trip. Which will help facilitate my next step...
    • Taking pit stops every couple of hours. I'll undoubtedly need to stop to use the restroom, one of the joys of pregnancy! However, my doctor also advised that I get out of the car and walk around for about five minutes several times. Pregnant women can have issues with blood clots in their legs, so keeping my circulation humming along will be another priority.


    In addition to the planning involved in the actual drive, just being away from home throws a wrench into my otherwise set routine. There are several items specific to diabetes and pregnancy that I must remember to pack, such as: insulin, test strips, pump supplies, prenatal vitamins, my wonderful body pillow, juice boxes and small candies for treating low blood sugars, my blood sugar logging sheets, and of course, my "belly-butter" to prevent stretch marks!


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    With all of the pre-planning, I should be able to kick back and enjoy the female bonding time on our long road trip!

Published On: November 02, 2007