Pregnancy and the Insulin Pump – Mom with Type 1 Diabetes

Changing hormonal levels and an ever-increasing need for insulin have turned the usual tasks of managing diabetes into a full-time round-the-clock job. My first pregnancy came when I was 36 and my HBA1c blood levels were perfect. Against the background of tight control of blood sugar levels, I often had hypoglycemia, after which, on the contrary, hyperglycemia followed. Despite a relatively good level of HBA1c, my blood sugar constantly fluctuated, and due to frequent measurements, the skin on the pads of my fingers looked like a sieve. In the third trimester, high blood pressure was added to the problems with glycemia, as a result of which I was diagnosed with preeclampsia . While I was in the hospital, the nurses took care of the administration of insulin, focusing on tons of entries in the diary. Needless to say, my blood sugar levels were in complete disarray, and it was difficult for me to keep everything under control, although I realized that what was happening was not at all ideal for my unborn child. At 34 weeks I had an emergency caesarean section. My newborn daughter Ellie (who is now three years old) was first taken to CPAP therapy and then to the neonatal intensive care unit. It took several days for doctors to normalize blood sugar levels. In addition, Ellie was fed through a special tube until she was strong enough to breastfeed. In total, Ellie stayed in the intensive care unit for 12 days. I was allowed to see my daughter only for short periods of feeding before the infusions, and most of the time, including the night, we spent separately. I had a hard time with this separation.

My second pregnancy, which came at 39, started with a high HBA1C level (8.4). It was a planned pregnancy, but because I was sorely lacking time for anything other than my little daughter, I wasn’t able to manage my diabetes the way I should. My doctor referred me to an obstetrician. Our main goal was to return blood sugar levels to the normal range as quickly as possible. That’s how I ended up with diabetologist Amanda Bartlett , who specializes in insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. After visiting Amanda, I realized the need for guidance and assistance to ensure my baby was born as healthy as possible – I started using a continuous glycemic monitoring system to get a complete picture of blood sugar data. I also attended several lessons on how to use the pump. Starting from the 14th week, in parallel with the LMWH system, I started using the MiniMed 640G insulin pump . This allowed me and my diabetologist to have comprehensive information about my glycemic profile, especially at night. Before I switched to an insulin pump, I became less sensitive to hypoglycemia, and as a result, I no longer felt the drop in blood sugar during sleep.

Thanks to the fact that the pump notifies me before the onset of hypo – and hyperglycemia, I was able to constantly maintain my blood sugar levels in the target range. Of course, these notifications can sometimes be annoying, but it was thanks to them that I was always aware of what was happening in my body. I then started using the Smart Guard feature, which automatically stops insulin delivery before hypoglycemia sets in. Now that one child is 3 years old and the other is 9 months old, this feature makes my life much easier.

Using the pump and the LMWH system is like being under the constant individual supervision of a whole team of doctors. In just a few weeks, my HBA1C level dropped from 8-odd to 6. This is an incredible success, considering that I have had type 1 diabetes for 26 years.

I don’t think I could control my blood sugar as well without an insulin pump and an LMWH system. Thanks to these technologies and the good HBA1C achieved with them, my second daughter, Lola, was born without complications, and her blood sugar levels stabilized in just a few hours. Instead of several days in the ICU, Lola shared a room with me the very first night, we had the skin-to-skin contact I always dreamed of, and I even managed to breastfeed Lola within 15 minutes of birth. The second pregnancy was radically different from the first, for the better.

My doctor Amanda Bartlett taught me how to use my insulin pump with confidence. The notifications sent by the CMG system allowed me to get real-time information about my blood sugar levels, no matter how busy/enthusiastic I was. I have always been sure that thanks to such control, I will be able to give birth to the most healthy child.

Looking back, I think my second pregnancy went incredibly well. Mostly thanks to the LMWH system, which was responsible for ensuring that my blood sugar was always in the target range.

The LMWH system is an incredible technology. It improves HBA1C levels and optimizes blood sugar control, which ultimately benefits the well-being and health of children and adults. During my life with diabetes, I have had both good and bad periods. I know firsthand what a state of exhaustion and mood swings are. Now that I have an insulin pump, I feel completely healthy and full of energy. Quality of life is an important component of happiness. I want to be in perfect shape so that I can be of maximum benefit to my family.

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