A Day in the Life of a Pregnant Type 1 Diabetic

After reading about all the things that can go wrong in pregnancy if you have Type 1 Diabetes, I consider myself to be very lucky. I love being pregnant. Fortunately, I haven’t dealt with any complications and besides unbelievable exhaustion, my pregnancy side affects have been fairly minimal. At the same time, I can’t wait for this to be over. I know that I have years of worrying ahead of me, but I want to be able to eat a burger with fries and not worry how it will affect the baby or panic every time my blood sugar goes over 150.

Here is a glimpse of what I have to do and what I have to worry about every single day. It never ends, even while I’m sleeping (I’ve heard similar things about parenthood…).

  • wake-up at least 2x a night to check my blood usually at 12 and 3
    • sometimes I need a snack
    • sometimes I need insulin
  • check my blood before breakfast and calibrate my CGM
  • weigh food, calculate carbs, bolus (the foods I can eat and that don’t spike my sugars change all the time)
    • If blood sugar is over 100- wait at least 20 minutes to eat
    • If blood sugar is between 70 and 100- wait 5 minutes to eat
  • check blood 2 hours later, if high- correct or set temp basal
  • exercise fluctuates my sugars too much, but I can walk my dog; check blood first
    • too low- eat a snack, set lower temp basal and always carry snacks with me
    • too high- correct and wait until it’s below 140
      • depending on length of walk possible temp basal will be needed, snack definitely needed
  • check blood before snack; weigh, calculate, bolus and wait
  • check 2 hours later, correct if needed
  • if possible, take a nap (I’ve never felt this tired before)
  • drink at least 60 oz. water daily
  • pee 100x a day
  • check blood before lunch; weigh, calculate, bolus and wait
  • check 2 hours later, correct if needed
  • go to weekly doctors appointment at either endocrinologist, obstetrician/MFM, nutritionist, certified diabetes educator, or retinal specialist as well as occasional dentist and  chiropractor– frequency of appointments will increase once I reach the third trimester
  • check blood before snack; weigh, calculate, bolus and wait
  • check blood 2 hours later, correct if needed
  • walk dog; check, correct, wait
  • check blood before dinner; weigh, calculate, bolus, wait
  • check blood 2 hours later, correct if needed
  • make sure I’ve had at least 100g carbs, eat third snack if not
  • plan meals for the next day (makes calculating much much easier)
  • check blood before bed and calibrate CGM


I have learned a lot in the 5 months I’ve been pregnant. I can have everything figured out perfectly with my basal rates, carb ratios, sensitivity, and the foods I can eat , and the next day it all changes and I’m running super low, swinging hi-low all day or I cant bring my sugar down within range no matter how many times I try to fix it. Even with a CGM, I need to check my blood at least 10x a day with finger sticks- before pregnancy I was testing maybe 3x a day and relying heavily on my dexcom, that’s too risky now. Planning my day out makes blood sugar management way easier. And finally, while I try really hard to maintain a structured schedule, life happens and I need to be flexible. 21 weeks down, 19 to go!

Imagine walking a barbed wire tightrope, barefoot, over a zombie-shark infested lava field. That’s what pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes is like.



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