Injecting Insulin During Pregnancy

Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Diabetes Nurse Educator, discusses how to effectively and safely inject insulin during pregnancy.

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Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Diabetes Nurse Educator, discusses how to effectively and safely inject insulin during pregnancy.
Video transcript

Featuring Lori Berard, RN, CDE, Diabetes Nurse Educator

Duration: 1 minute, 56 seconds

During your pregnancy, if your blood sugars have been elevated, you’ve been advised to follow a healthy eating plan and get some physical activity, sometimes that’s not enough. And the next step is to take insulin.

One of the reasons that you need insulin in your pregnancy is because in the second and third trimester, the hormones that are happening because of pregnancy make it harder for the insulin that you make to do its job. So we need to top up the insulin to get your blood sugars to target for a healthy baby and a healthy you.

Insulin is safe during pregnancy. Insulin’s a naturally occurring hormone. When you require insulin to manage your blood sugars during pregnancy, we’re going to ask you to deliver into subcutaneous tissue, and we’re going to use your abdomen. There’s lots of layers between your abdomen and the baby. We use a tiny four-millimetre needle and we make sure that we’re injecting it into the subcutaneous tissue, and it’s not going to hit your baby. The recommended site for injecting insulin during pregnancy is your abdomen. It’s the most reliable absorption.

So when you think about using your abdomen and you go “Oh, it’s very tight!”, there’s lots of areas around your abdomen, especially on the sides, that you can use to inject your insulin.

Important things to remember are: you’re going to inject at a 90-degree angle; you’re not going to inject into scar tissue or any stretch marks; you’re going to use a fresh needle each time that you inject; and, you’re going to rotate your injection sites.

Using insulin during pregnancy means a healthy you and a healthy baby. Proper blood sugar control through insulin therapy reduces the risk of having a large baby and complications of pregnancy.

One of the important things to remember is that you should follow up six weeks or six months, according to your healthcare professional, to check your blood sugars after your baby’s been born.

For more information about your pregnancy and diabetes, please speak to your diabetes healthcare team.

Presenter: Lori Berard, Nurse, Winnipeg, MB

Local Practitioners: Nurse

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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