Managing Your Type 1 Diabetes As a New Mom
After nine months of pregnancy, the delivery, some recuperation and managing type 1 diabetes throughout, you might be wondering, what’s next?
First and foremost, take a moment to feel proud of all the hard work you did, all the sacrifices and adjustments you made, and all the dedication and resolve you put into your pregnancy. This is your moment to check in with yourself by asking a few questions:
How are you doing? Are you happy and comfortable with where you are regarding your type 1 diabetes management? Or do you perhaps need to re-adjust your routine to accommodate your lifestyle with a new baby.
This transitional period in your life is a great time to reflect and make changes to your routine that will better suit your (and your baby’s) lifestyle!
Making Time for Type 1 Diabetes Management
Hear from Sarah, a new mom with type 1 diabetes, about the ups and downs of transitioning from pregnancy to post-pregnancy with the disease.
Being a mom is a round-the-clock job, and especially for a new mom it can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself and manage your type 1 diabetes now that you have another person to look after. When Sarah was a new mom, her baby’s naptime was an opportunity for her to clean his bottles, take a shower, squeeze in a meal and, of course, test her blood sugar.
With the body experiencing hormonal and emotional fluctuations and limited time to spare, your blood glucose levels may be a little bit erratic during the first few weeks—especially after breastfeeding. Keep this in mind and be sure to plan ahead by carrying glucose tabs, juice or a sugary candy with you in case you need to boost your blood sugar levels.
Settling Into Your New Routine
As a new mom, life has probably been hectic to say the least. You and your baby are home now and it’s time to settle into a routine (or a semblance of a routine, if such a thing is possible with a newborn in the house).
You may incorporate small and simple changes into your day-to-day as you ease back into your life and adjust to your new routine. For example, you might get into the habit of regularly restocking fast-acting glucose in your car (and everywhere else) and become more diligent about checking your blood-sugar frequently, especially before driving. You may find yourself driving a lot more, especially if you are running with your baby to and from childcare. So, while it has always been important to test before you drive and to have supplies available to treat lows, having your little one in the car with you makes it all the more important.
Resuming activities that once seemed mundane, like getting started with physical activity and exercise, may seem to feel bigger than they used to. Don’t dismiss the power of a good walk. It’s a great way to get moving again and it’s almost universally accessible! You may have to juggle a few things to fit it into your schedule, but it is important to prioritize your health, and exercise is a big part of that.
You might even opt to incorporate your new baby into your exercise routine! Walking or running with a stroller is a great way to add exercise back into your life and get a splash of vitamin D if it is sunny out. Bringing your little one along can also help introduce them to the big world (and flowers, butterflies and blue skies that come with it).
Finally, don’t feel pressured to do anything if you’re not ready for it, mentally and physically. You’re the best judge and you do what’s best for you and your baby.