Changes in Diabetes Treatment Post Giving Birth

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • Pregnancy Tracker: 3 weeks postpartum

    Size of the Baby: 8 pounds, 14 ounces

    Biggest Obstacle: Adjusting to our a totally new routine!


    Over the past few weeks I have realized the truthfulness of the phrases: "your life will never be the same" and "a baby changes everything."


    You hear these quotes on a regular basis as you anticipate the arrival of your first child. On some level you understand what they mean, but you aren't truly prepared for the dramatic life shift that occurs when the baby is placed in your arms.


    Becoming a mother is the most remarkable transformation. Suddenly, rather than focusing on your own needs and desires, your child's needs dictate your actions day in and day out. In some ways this is liberating because it simplifies your priorities. Does the kitchen need to be cleaned? Sure, but the baby needs to eat and be changed first. Those thank you notes have been sitting on the table waiting to be written for a week, but Sienna's alert and wants to interact with me right now, so the cards can wait.

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    On the other hand, when you're used to being highly productive and checking things off of your daily "to do" list, it's hard not to feel lazy when you don't get a shower until late in the afternoon. Feeding, changing, holding, cuddling, bathing, and kissing the baby can take up the whole day, and it doesn't feel like you get all that much done. Of course, this work is the most important thing new parents can spend their time doing. Even though Sienna won't remember being this little, these formative years are when her little brain gets wired for her entire life. Attending to her needs and loving her will help Sienna become a confident, trusting, healthy little person.


    The shift in my diabetes care has been just as sudden and complete. My insulin needs have dropped off considerably, making my blood sugars easier to maintain. However, I'm testing less and eating more carbohydrates as we're sitting around the house. My blood sugars have bounced around more in the last three weeks than they did during the preceding nine months. My blood sugar control is still important, but I'm thinking about it now in terms of keeping myself healthy so I can attend to our daughter. Instead of setting my alarm so I could test my blood throughout the night, I test when Sienna wakes me up for her middle of the night feedings. I'll snack right along with her if my blood sugar is on the low side, or bolus to correct any highs.


    Instead of diabetes care being the major focus, as it was throughout my pregnancy, now diabetes fits into the nooks and crannies of my day. Whether I'm grabbing a protein bar on the way to the pediatrician, ordering test strips and insulin online between emailing pictures of Sienna, or testing my blood as her bottle warms, diabetes finds its way into our routine on a regular basis. Ultimately, I have to take care of myself so I can best care for Sienna. If my blood sugar is too low, I don't feel confident walking around with her. Skipping meals or allowing highs to persist likewise hinder my ability to get all of the baby stuff accomplished.


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    As much as Sienna's arrival has wonderfully turned my life upside down, my diabetes is still here and requires attention. I'm sure as I get a better hand of being a mom, I'll be able to juggle diabetes care and baby care with more grace.


Published On: January 29, 2008