Your Health After Giving Birth
If you have diabetes, some extra steps may be taken after giving birth to make sure you and your baby are off to a healthy start. You should find, however, that you won't need as much insulin to control your blood glucose levels.
After your baby has been born, you should find that you won't need as much insulin to control your blood glucose levels. If you have Type 2 diabetes and were changed onto insulin during your pregnancy you may be able to return to the medication that you were taking before you became pregnant.
Please seek advice on adjustments to insulin doses and any medication changes from your healthcare professional.
If you developed gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, you may not need to continue taking medication after the birth. Your health care professional can discuss this with you and it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels on a regular basis. Having gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing it during a future pregnancy and also of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future. You can however reduce this risk by maintaining a healthy weight and by exercising regularly.
You should have a postnatal check about six weeks after your baby's birth to make sure that you feel well and are recovering properly. This should include having your blood glucose levels checked to see whether your blood glucose has returned to normal. You should also be given advice on diet and exercise.
Your insulin needs
After delivery, your insulin requirements will drop dramatically. Your doctor, diabetes specialist nurse or diabetes specialist midwife may put your insulin back to pre-pregnancy levels, or maybe even lower, because:
- You are likely to be more active than before
- You may be breast-feeding
- You will be up and about during the night too
Your blood glucose levels
You will not need to run your blood glucose levels quite so tightly as you did when you were pregnant, but try to keep them steady. Life has probably become rather chaotic, but you should test regularly to avoid highs and lows. However, be aware that you may not regain your hypoglycaemic awareness for a while, so you should continue to monitor regularly.
Your body has been through a lot and now your hormones are changing all over again. You may be recovering from a caesarean section. This is a time when it is quite easy to pick up an infection, so if you do feel unwell, remember to test for blood ketones.
The benefits of good control
Some women understandably concentrate on their new arrival and let other resolutions slide. Others enjoyed feeling well and healthy due to tight control during pregnancy so continue with the close monitoring.
So remember, you can continue to feel good, and benefit your long-term health, by keeping your blood glucose levels steady with the help of regular monitoring.