Bio: Lori Berard
Lori Berard is Diabetes Educator with an expertise in diabetes education, management and clinical research. As a certified diabetes educator, she has over 30 years’ experience primarily as the Nurse Manager for the Health Sciences Centre Diabetes Research Program. More recently she was the Nurse Clinician/Educator at the Wellness Institute Seven Oaks General Hospital. She was a Faculty Member at the University of Manitoba Department of Medicine Section of Endocrinology from 2009 to 2017 and continues as a sessional instructor in the medical school.
Lori Berard is working as a consultant in diabetes management and clinical research operations. She continues to be actively involved in many continuing medical educational initiatives with numerous presentations and publications. Lori has been a professional member and major volunteer of Diabetes Canada for more than 25 years and has extensive experience with the Clinical Practice Guidelines. She has received many honors and awards related to her work in diabetes.
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Injecting Insulin During Pregnancy
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