Taking home a new baby is incredibly exciting, but this can also be a stressful time.
Some women with diabetes find it very hard to make their own health a priority and give their diabetes the attention it demands during this busy period.
Take advantage of any assistance your family and friends can offer. If you don’t have any support nearby, it may be a good idea to organise help with things like shopping, cooking and housework. It is best to start thinking about this and getting plans in place before the baby arrives.
When you first go home with a new baby, especially for the first few weeks, you will be kept busy looking after your baby. You may find that this new routine, along with disturbed sleep, means that you don’t manage your diabetes as well as you would like.
It is very important – both for you and your baby – that you stay healthy and safe, so remember the following:
- Don’t forget to take your insulin.
- Try to avoid hypos so that you are safe to take care of yourself and your baby.
- Check your blood glucose levels at least four times a day, so that you know whether your blood glucose levels are dropping, and to guide your insulin doses.
- Aim to keep most of your blood glucose levels between 5-10mmol/L.
- Ask for help from your diabetes in pregnancy team, even after your baby is born.
Contraception and future pregnancies
Make sure you are using suitable contraception to avoid having another pregnancy before you are ready. Remember that planning another pregnancy and having your diabetes well managed beforehand will help you to have a healthy baby.
If you decide not to have any more children, you may want to consider a tubal ligation or discuss a vasectomy with your partner. There are also a number of very effective long-term but reversible contraception options, including intra-uterine devices (IUDs) and hormone implants. Discuss the available options with your doctor.
Looking after your health
Once you are getting some more sleep and managing a new routine with your baby (usually 3-6 months after your baby is born), it is a good time to become more aware of your health needs again. Review your diabetes management with your diabetes health professionals to keep yourself healthy, so that you feel well, reduce the risk of long term health problems and enjoy your new baby.