Lifestyle Suggestions for A Type 1 Diabetic Mom

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • Now that I've returned to work full time, after being home with Sienna for three glorious months of maternity leave, my plate is very full. Honestly, there are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything and get an adequate amount of sleep, exercise, or relaxation. The only way I've been able to survive is by being organized.


    First of all, many of the tasks my husband and I must complete each day stem from choices we've made about our family's health. I am committed to giving Sienna breast milk for at least her first year, which requires five daily pumping sessions for me. Sterilizing, drying, and reassembling the pump parts is a time consuming chore, but well worth it. Also, we use cloth diapers which have to be washed and dried daily. Plus, we eat healthfully, so regularly grabbing a fast food dinner is out of the question. We plan and cook all of our meals, which ultimately makes managing my diabetes much simpler.

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    Planning is so important. Getting things done during the weekend or in the evening makes our mornings run much smoother. Here are some of the tips I've employed to make our weeks less stressful:


    Pick out our clothes for the week and iron them on Sunday. This saves a lot of time in the morning, not to mention the stress of wondering, "What am I going to wear?" After everything is pressed, I hang the outfits in a particular area of my closet, so they're easily accessible.


    Plan our meals and write them on a weekly calendar on the refrigerator. I do this on the weekend when I make our grocery list. Being able to see all the dinner options listed out helps tremendously. If something comes up and we have to switch some dinners around, it's easy to know what we have on hand so we can rearrange menus as needed. Also, it reminds me to defrost whatever meats we need for dinner ahead of time.


    I like to Pre-chop vegetables for weekly lunches. I've been taking a lot of salads lately and it's much easier to assemble my lunch when I can just toss in already chopped up veggies such as carrots and cucumbers. I cut up the vegetables on Sunday and keep them in a plastic container in the fridge.


    Also, I make ahead as much food as possible on Sunday nights, which just eliminates extra chores during the week. I've been enjoying this egg and cottage cheese soufflé as my weekday breakfast. By blending up a weeks worth of breakfasts during the weekend, it's simple to pop one little ramekin in the oven as I'm getting ready in the morning. Another high protein and make ahead option is egg salad, which was my breakfast staple during pregnancy.


    We also divide many food items into individual servings and put them in plastic baggies, so they're easy to grab in the morning. One ounce of almonds, a quarter cup of granola for my yogurt, and baby carrots are all good options for pre-bagging.


    Now that life has gotten more hectic, I am really grateful for my insulin pump. Other than changing the sets every few days, my insulin delivery system requires very little maintenance. The most time consuming part of my diabetes management is preparing low carbohydrate meals and snacks. Testing my blood and administering insulin are the most efficient parts of my day.


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    Since many of our daily chores cannot be tackled ahead of time, such as tending to Sienna's needs, pumping breast milk, and laundering her diapers, it's important to be organized when it comes to other tasks.


    By the time we get home from picking Sienna up from my mom's it's about 6 o'clock. What I haven't found time to fit into our schedule is exercise. Dennis has fit in a few runs in the evening, but my exercise time remains elusive. On the weekends we take long walks with Sienna, but I'd like to find the time to swim at least once or twice a week. Maybe we'll get a little bit more streamlined and settled into our routine after a few more weeks of practice!


    Want to know more about managing diabetes and motherhood? Read Kelsey's post, "How Diabetes Makes Me a Better Mom."

Published On: May 07, 2008