A: Are there any techniques or technologies I can use to make injecting easier in the third trimester?
If you already have diabetes or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (the kind that occurs only during pregnancy) your doctor may have recommended you take insulin injections. It will be very important to follow your doctor’s recommendations in order to give you and your baby the best chance of a healthy delivery.
Most of the time, when people take insulin injections they will use their abdomen, but many women will worry about abdominal injections during the last trimester of their pregnancy. First of all – you WILL NOT hurt your baby. However, it is recommended to pinch up your skin as you inject the needle and avoid the area around the umbilicus. The idea is to be sure the needle is going into the fat just below your skin and as your abdomen stretches during the last trimester it is more difficult to inject into the fat layer around the umbilicus. Using a shorter needle will help and there are needles as short as 4 mm available now. You may also want to consider a different location on your body for your injections during this time. For example, using your hip or the back of your arm may be more comfortable during this stage of your pregnancy. Shorter needles allow one-handed injection technique, which makes it possible to rotate injections to additional places like the upper arm. Be sure to talk to your health care team about the right needle length for you.
Teresa L. Pearson, MS, RN, CDE, FAADE is the Director of Clinical Services at Halleland Habicht Consulting, LLC and CEO of Innovative Health Care Designs. Until recently, Teresa served as the Director of Diabetes Care for Fairview Health Services where she provided direction and oversight for diabetes care services in 30 primary care sites.