I read a bit about diabetes and pregnancy before I had my first daughter, but do not remember seeing ANYTHING about breastfeeding and the impact on the woman with type 1. Let me tell you, there is an impact. A big one. Hoping we can document what happened to our bodies for all those new or soon-to-be new moms out there with type 1 who want to breastfeed.
You get that precious little baby and are ready to nurse. It's a great bonding time, healthy for baby and a great way to get weight off. But it also takes a lot of energy out of you. I have heard horror stories of type 1 moms losing conciousness while breastfeeding it drops blood glucose so fast.
It took me a while to get it nailed down, but this is what I found worked for me. I would start by doing a BG check and hoping I was in good range (cause baby is crying and being low is not good). Assuming I was in good range (above 100), I would get 6oz of orange juice in one glass and 6oz of orange juice in another glass. I would drink the 1st glass before starting. Feed one side. Drink the other glass, and then feed the other side. It took me at least a week to figure this out. (Remember - you are feeding the child every 2 to 3 hours at first... this is tough stuff to figure out, especially when you've never nursed a child before and have to figure that out). So, figure that's around 60 grams of carbs in one nursing session, doing that 8 to 10 times per day... a HUGE amount of carbs going in and you still lose weight.
One other thing, it would be a really good idea to have someone with you for the first week or so after you give birth to help support you and the baby while you get your blood glucose all figured out. Thankfully, my husband was able to take two weeks off after the birht of both our daughters.... just like diabetes adds a bit more onto other areas of life, having a newborn is just a little bit more work and having extra hands is very helpful. So if baby's dad can't be there, see if your mom or a friend can take turns coming over. It can be a very difficult time to be type 1 and you could get yourself into a scary spot alone with a newborn and being low. Best to have some help.
I definitely had a hard time with breastfeeding my son. He was quite jaundiced at birth and I just wasn't able to keep up with his nutritional needs. At the time, my doctors told me that often it is harder for a type 1 mom to nurse as there is just not as much milk. Not sure if I believe that...
Regardless, I had to supplement my son with formula at 4 months which made me very sad. I was very keen on nursing him exclusively. It was good for him as he was a hearty eater!
Has anyone had similar issues?
(Btw, my son is almost 6 now.. hehe.. but I remember my pregnancy like it was yesterday! It is truly an act of love for a type 1 mom to work SO hard to keep those BS's perfect.. but it is well worth it!)
I had a hard time producing milk as well.. I had to start supplementing earlier- before 2 months! I was VERY upset about it, but heard that it is hard for a type 1 mom to produce milk as well. Its rough but I'm still breastfeeding as much as possible (he is 3 months now). BS's are hard to manage though..
I've never heard of type 1 causing trouble producing milk. I think it's interesting, and I wonder what causes it.
I didn't have any trouble producing when I was breastfeeding. I had six months of only breastfeeding my first daughter and nine months of breast feeding my second daughter (we supplemented with cereal, and the food introduction stuff after six months).
I love animal crackers I just snacked when the baby was snacking and that seemed to work for me my son nursed till he was 2 and my daughter till she was 1. I produced abundent amounts of milk. I hate when doctors atomaticly blame it on being diabetic when it is somthing that is diffrent for ALL moms and with every baby. my sister in law has 4 and the first one she couldn't get to nurse the second she had to stop cause she was pregnent rite away and the last two she had no problams with.
I nursed my daughter for 23 months (our goal had been a year, but once we got there, we decided to keep going) and what helped me (aside from having a great support team who was around a lot in the beginning) was having a testing kit, bottled water and snack bars/sugar in every room I might nurse in. Its not easy to get up and look for things once you sit down to nurse, so we just made it as easy as possible to have everything I might need in arms reach.
I'm a co-hostess at www.diabeticmommy.com as well and there are lots of other women there with great ideas and questions. I cant' imagine my pregnancy or nursing experience without the constant feedback on DM. There's always someone online to answer questions or listen to a vent.
This is SO interesting! I breast fed for a year (I pumped and bottle fed a bunch as well) and never had any problem with low's or production.