Currently browsing advice for new moms posts

Choosing a C-Section: What Is It and When Is It The Best Option?

A caesarean section, or C-section, is an operation to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb.

The cut is usually made across your tummy, just below your bikini line.

A caesarean is a major operation that carries a number of risks, so it’s usually only done if it’s the safest option for you and your baby.

Around one in every four to five pregnant women in the UK has a caesarean.*

Why caesareans are carried out

A caesarean may be recommended as a planned (elective) procedure or done in an emergency if it’s thought a vaginal birth is too risky. They’re usually performed after the 38th week of pregnancy.

A caesarean may be carried out because:

  • your baby is in the breech position (feet first) and your doctor has been unable to turn them by applying gentle pressure to your tummy, or you would prefer they didn’t try this
  • you have a low-lying placenta (placenta praevia)
  • you have pregnancy-related high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
  • you have certain infections, such as a first genital herpes infection occurring late in pregnancy or untreated HIV
  • your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients – sometimes this may mean the baby needs to be delivered immediately
  • your labour isn’t progressing or there’s excessive vaginal bleeding

If there’s time to plan the procedure, your midwife or doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of a caesarean compared with a vaginal birth.

Asking for a caesarean

Some women choose to have a caesarean for non-medical reasons. If you ask your midwife or doctor for a caesarean when there aren’t medical reasons, they will explain the overall benefits and risks of a caesarean compared with a vaginal birth.

If you’re anxious about giving birth, you should be offered the chance to discuss your anxiety with a healthcare professional who can offer support during your pregnancy and labour.

If after discussion and support you still feel that a vaginal birth isn’t an acceptable option, you’re entitled to have a planned caesarean.

What happens during a caesarean

Most caesareans are carried out under spinal or epidural anaesthetic. This mean you’ll be awake, but the lower part of your body is numbed so you won’t feel any pain.

During the procedure:

  • a screen is placed across your body so you can’t see what’s being done – the doctors and nurses will let you know what’s happening
  • a cut about 10-20cm long will usually be made across your lower tummy and womb so your baby can be delivered
  • you may feel some tugging and pulling during the procedure
  • you and you birth partner will be able to see and hold your baby as soon as they’ve been delivered

The whole operation normally takes about 40-50 minutes.

Occasionally a general anaesthetic, where you’re asleep, may be used, particularly if the baby needs to be delivered more quickly.

Read more about how a caesarean is carried out.

Recovering from a caesarean

Recovering from a caesarean usually takes longer than recovering from a vaginal delivery. You might need to stay in hospital for three or four days, compared with one or two days for a vaginal birth.

You may experience some discomfort in your tummy for the first few days, and you’ll be offered painkillers to help with this.

When you go home, you’ll need to take things easy at first. You may need to avoid some activities such as driving for six weeks or so.

The wound in your tummy will eventually form a scar. This may be red and obvious at first, but it should fade with time and will often be hidden in your pubic hair.

Read more about recovering from a caesarean.

Risks of a caesarean

A caesarean is generally a very safe procedure, but like any type of surgery it carries a certain amount of risk.

It’s important to be aware of the possible complications, particularly if you’re considering having a caesarean for non-medical reasons.

Possible complications include:

  • infection of the wound or womb lining
  • blood clots
  • excessive bleeding
  • damage to nearby areas, such as the bladder or the tubes that connect the kidneys and bladder (ureter)
  • temporary breathing difficulties in your baby
  • accidentally cutting your baby when your womb is opened

Read more about the risks of a caesarean.

Future pregnancies after a caesarean

If you have a baby by caesarean, it doesn’t necessarily mean that any babies you have in the future will also have to be delivered this way.

Most women who have had a caesarean section can safely have a vaginal delivery for their next baby, known as vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).

However, you may need some extra monitoring during labour just to make sure everything is progressing well.

Some women may be advised to have another caesarean if they have another baby. This depends on whether a caesarean is still the safest option for them and their baby.

For more information, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has a leaflet on birth options after previous caesarean section (PDF, 357kb).

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

*1 in 3 pregnant women in the U.S. has a caesarean

 





How to Reduce Your Baby’s Teething Pain

Teething can be distressing for some babies, but there are ways to make it easier for them.

Every baby is different, and you may have to try a few different things until you find something that works for your baby.

Teething rings

Teething rings give your baby something to chew safely. This may ease their discomfort and distract them from any pain.

Some teething rings can be cooled first in the fridge, which may help to soothe your baby’s gums. The instructions that come with the ring should tell you how long to chill it for. Never put a teething ring in the freezer, as it could damage your baby’s gums if it gets frozen.

Also, never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it may be a choking hazard.

Teething gels

Teething gels often contain a mild local anaesthetic, which helps to numb any pain or discomfort caused by teething. The gels may also contain antiseptic ingredients, which help to prevent infection in any sore or broken skin in your baby’s mouth.

Make sure you use a teething gel that’s specially designed for young children and not a general oral pain relief gel, as these aren’t suitable for children. Your pharmacist can advise you.

It’s best to talk to your pharmacist or GP before using a teething gel for babies under two months old.

If your baby is chewing

One of the signs that your baby is teething is that they start to chew on their fingers, toys or other objects they get hold of.

If your baby is six months or older, you can give them healthy things to chew on, such as raw fruit and vegetables. Pieces of apple or carrot are ideal. You could also try giving your baby a crust of bread or a breadstick. Always stay close when your baby is eating in case they choke.

Find out what to do if your baby starts choking.

It’s best to avoid rusks, because nearly all brands contain some sugar. Avoid any foods that contain lots of sugar, as this can cause tooth decay, even if your child only has a few teeth.

Paracetamol (*acetaminophen) and ibuprofen for teething

If your baby is in pain or has a mild raised temperature (less than 38C), you may want to give them a sugar-free painkilling medicine that is specifically for babies and young children. These contain a small dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Children under 16 years old shouldn’t have aspirin.

Always follow the instructions that come with the medicine. If you’re not sure, speak to your GP (*doctor or pediatrician) or pharmacist.

Comforting a teething baby

Comforting or playing with your baby can distract them from any pain in their gums.

Preventing teething rashes

If teething is making your baby dribble more than usual, gently wiping their face often may help to prevent a rash.

Caring for your baby’s new teeth

You’ll need to register your baby with a dentist when their teeth start coming through – find a dentist near you.

Start brushing your baby’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first milk tooth breaks through.

For more advice, read about looking after your baby’s teeth.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

Additional note: Avoid benzocaine teething gels – there are plant-based natural teething gels that do not have the same drug safety concerns as noted by the US FDA:
https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm250024.htm

 

NHS Choices logo


From www.nhs.uk





How to Provide Care for Ill or Premature Babies

Neonatal care in hospital

Special care is sometimes provided on the ordinary postnatal ward and sometimes in a specialist newborn (neonatal) area. Having a baby in neonatal care is naturally worrying for parents and every effort should be made to ensure that you receive the information, communication and support that you need. Not all hospitals provide specialist neonatal services, so it may be necessary to transfer your baby to another hospital.

Why babies need special care

Babies can be admitted to neonatal services for a number of reasons:

  • they are born early – one baby in 13 (8 out of 100) is born early, and babies born before 34 weeks may need extra help with breathing, feeding and keeping warm
  • they are very small and have a low birthweight
  • they have an infection
  • their mother has diabetes
  • the delivery was very difficult or they have jaundice
  • they are waiting for, or recovering from, complex surgery

Contact with your baby

The environment of the unit may seem strange and confusing, especially if your baby is in an incubator or on a breathing machine. There may also be tubes and wires attached to their face and body. Ask the nurse to explain what everything is for and to show you how you can be involved in your baby’s care. Once your baby is stable, you will be able to hold him or her. The nurses will show you how to do this and your baby will benefit greatly from physical contact with you.

Feeding

To begin with, your baby may be too small or too sick to feed themselves. You may be asked to express some of your breast milk, which can be given to your baby through a tube. A fine tube is passed through his or her nose or mouth into the stomach. This won’t hurt them.

Breast milk has particular benefits, especially for sick or premature babies, as it is enriched with proteins (notably antibodies), fats and minerals. If your baby is unable to have your breast milk to begin with, it can be frozen and given to them when they are ready.

When you go home, you can express milk for the nurses to give while you are away. There is no need to worry about the quantity or quality of your milk. Some mothers find that providing breast milk makes them feel that they are doing something positive for their baby.

Find out about expressing your breast milk.

Incubators

Babies who are very small are nursed in incubators rather than cots, to keep them warm. You can still have a lot of contact with your baby. Some incubators have open tops, but if your baby’s incubator doesn’t you can put your hands through the holes in the side of the incubator to stroke and touch your baby.

When your baby is stable, the nurses will be able to help you take your baby out of the incubator and show you how to have skin-to-skin contact. You should carefully wash and thoroughly dry your hands before touching your baby. You can talk to your baby as well – this can help both of you.

The charity Bliss has information explaining the equipment on a neonatal unit.

Newborn babies with jaundice

Jaundice in newborn babies is common because their livers are immature. Severely jaundiced babies may be treated with phototherapy (light therapy). The baby is undressed and put under a very bright light, usually with a soft mask over their eyes. The special light helps to break down the chemical that causes jaundice. It may be possible for your baby to have phototherapy by your bed so that you don’t have to be separated.

This treatment may continue for several days, with breaks for feeds, before the jaundice clears up. In some cases, if the jaundice gets worse, an exchange transfusion of blood may be needed (some of your baby’s blood will be removed and replaced with blood from a donor). This is not common. Some babies have jaundice because of liver disease and need different treatment. A blood test that checks for liver disease is done before phototherapy is started.

Find out more about treatment for newborn jaundice.

Babies with jaundice after two weeks

Many babies are jaundiced for up to two weeks following birth. Jaundice can last up to three weeks in premature babies. It is more common in breastfed babies and does no harm. It is not a reason to stop breastfeeding.

It is important to see your doctor if your baby is still jaundiced after two weeks. You should see the doctor within a day or two. This is particularly important if your baby’s poo is chalky white. A blood test will distinguish between “breast milk jaundice”, which will go away by itself, or jaundice that may need urgent treatment.

Babies with disabilities

If your baby is disabled in some way, you will be coping with a lot of different feelings. You will also need to cope with the feelings of others, such as the baby’s father, your relations and friends as they come to terms with the fact that your baby has a disability.

More than anything else at this time, you will need to talk to people about how you feel, as well as about your baby’s health and future.

Your GP* (doctor), a neonatologist (doctor for newborn babies), paediatrician (children’s doctor) or your health visitor can all help you. You can also contact the hospital Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)** or your social services department for information about local organisations that may be able to help. You can contact your social services department in the UK through your local authority (in the UK)**.

The organisations listed here can offer help and advice – many are self-help groups run by parents**:

Talking to other parents with similar experiences can often be the most effective help.

Worries and explanations

Hospital staff should explain what kind of treatment your baby is being given and why. If they don’t, ask them. It’s important that you understand what is happening so that you can work together to make sure that your baby gets the best possible care. Some treatments require your consent to go ahead and the doctors will discuss this with you.

It is natural to feel anxious if your baby needs special care. Talk over any fears or worries with the hospital staff. Hospitals often have their own counselling or support services, and a number of charities run support and advice services.

The consultant neonatologist or paediatrician should arrange to see you, but you can also ask for an appointment at any time if you wish. The hospital social worker may be able to help with practical issues such as travel costs or help with looking after children.

Read more information on serious conditions and special needs in children.

The charity Bliss has information and support for parents of babies being cared for in a neonatal unit. You can find out more at:

healthtalk.org has video interviews and articles on women talking about their experiences of having a baby in special care.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

** Resources in the United States

  • US Hospitals typically offer similar Patient Liaison services – ask for Patient Relations or Patient Representatives
  • Social Services in the United States can provide information to help with costs and treatments
  • Children with Disabilities: UNICEF
  • Genetic Alliance is the US affiliate of Genetic Alliance UK
  • Note: several of the UK based organizations listed above like Bliss, Group B Strep Support, etc. have extensive websites offering detailed information that will be of assistance to parents worldwide.





Pediatric Safety and Stepmother-hood: New Beginnings

Hello dear readers. I am Clara Ember and I am the new Junior Editor for Pediatric Safety. I am a newlywed at 28 and in addition to gaining the companionship of a handsome and intelligent young man, I also found myself suddenly in the role of stepmother to a seven-year-old boy. As someone who never planned on having children of her own, the change was a significant one. I have always liked children and I am aunt to three beautiful little ones, all of whom I love dearly, but see rarely.

I put a lot of thought into motherhood before marrying my husband. His son does not live with us, (he stays with his grandparents) but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to have a significant part in his life. The first few times I met him I was a nervous wreck. What happened if he didn’t like me, or if I didn’t like him? What if I was just terrible at being a responsible adult and ended up being a bad influence on him? What was I supposed to talk to him about?

When he first met me, he called me by my husband’s ex’s name. Over and over and over again. Awkward right? As it turns out, five-year-olds don’t understand breakups and to him, I looked like her. I was a short girl with short hair, that’s the same right? I was so shy that I had no idea how to handle it, so I just stayed very quiet.

Then we went hiking around my husband’s parents property. We had been hiking for about 20min when we came to a pile of logs we had to climb over. He jumped on top of them and turned around with sparkling brown eyes and held out his hand. “Here Clara!” he said, “Let me help you.” My heart melted and with it, went all of my fears about how being in his life would play out. Suddenly it didn’t matter that I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, I would simply love him the best I could and figure out the rest.

He’s too young to really understand what my role in my life is now that I’m married to his father. He sees me as a friend, someone to play transformers and trains with, someone to cuddle. Truthfully, I’m just figuring it out as I go, but what a beautiful journey it is…

I am amazed by parenting, by the balance it requires and the subtle (and not subtle) guidance required to direct and teach a little human. One must be firm and gentle, challenging and comforting, and constantly engaged.

But I’m not telling you guys anything you don’t already know. You are more than aware of the hardships and beautiful moments of having a child and I salute you for all of the work you are putting into it. That being said, if you more experienced parents have any advice you’d like to pass along to a new stepmom, I would love to hear it! Mostly we play outside and build things with legos, but I would like to start teaching him more and building a more solid relationship with him. I want to be a mentor as well as a friend, but I know that’s something you can’t force.

I am really looking forward to working with our authors and staff to continue to bring you intelligent and useful content to help you all on your parenting journeys. After all, it takes a village.

And if you have any questions you would like to ask me, my inbox is always open and I will respond as quickly and honestly as I can. Have a wonderful weekend!

How to Cope With Pregnancy Morning Sickness

What is Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, also known as morning sickness, is very common in early pregnancy. It’s unpleasant, but it doesn’t put your baby at any increased risk and usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy.

Some women get a very severe form of nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which can be very serious. It needs specialist treatment, sometimes in hospital. Find out more about hyperemesis gravidarum.

With morning sickness, some women are sick (vomit) and some have a feeling of sickness (nausea) without being sick. The term “morning sickness” is misleading. It can affect you at any time of the day or night, and some women feel sick all day long.

It’s thought hormonal changes in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are probably one of the causes of morning sickness.

Symptoms should ease as your pregnancy progresses. In some women, symptoms disappear by the third month of pregnancy. However, some women experience nausea and vomiting for longer than this, and about 1 woman in 10 continues to feel sick after week 20.

How common is morning sickness?

During early pregnancy, nausea, vomiting and tiredness are common symptoms. Around half of all pregnant women experience vomiting, and more than 80% of women (80 out of 100) experience nausea in the first 12 weeks.

People sometimes consider morning sickness a minor inconvenience of pregnancy, but for some women it can have a significant adverse effect on their day-to-day activities and quality of life.

Treatments for morning sickness

If you have morning sickness, your GP (*doctor) or midwife will initially recommend that you try a number of changes to your diet and daily life to help reduce your symptoms. These include:

  • getting plenty of rest – tiredness can make nausea worse
  • if you feel sick first thing in the morning, give yourself time to get up slowly – if possible, eat something like dry toast or a plain biscuit before you get up
  • drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, and sipping them little and often rather than in large amounts, as this may help prevent vomiting
  • eating small, frequent meals that are high in carbohydrate (such as bread, rice and pasta) and low in fat – most women can manage savoury foods, such as toast, crackers and crispbread, better than sweet or spicy foods
  • eating small amounts of food often rather than several large meals – but don’t stop eating
  • eating cold meals rather than hot ones as they don’t give off the smell that hot meals often do, which may make you feel sick
  • avoiding foods or smells that make you feel sick
  • avoiding drinks that are cold, tart (sharp) or sweet
  • asking the people close to you for extra support and help – it helps if someone else can cook, but if this isn’t possible, go for bland, non-greasy foods, such as baked potatoes or pasta, which are simple to prepare
  • distracting yourself as much as you can – the nausea can get worse the more you think about it
  • wearing comfortable clothes without tight waistbands

If you have severe morning sickness, your doctor or midwife might recommend medication.

Anti-sickness remedies

If your nausea and vomiting is severe and doesn’t improve after you make changes to your diet and lifestyle, your GP (*doctor) may recommend a short-term course of an anti-sickness medicine that is safe to use in pregnancy.

This type of medicine is called an antiemetic. The commonly prescribed antiemetics can have side effects. These are rare, but can include muscle twitching.

Some antihistamines (medicines often used to treat allergies such as hay fever) also work as antiemetics. Your doctor might prescribe an antihistamine that is safe to take in pregnancy. See your GP if you would like to consider this form of treatment.

Ginger eases morning sickness

There is some evidence that ginger supplements may help reduce nausea and vomiting. To date, there have not been any reports of adverse effects being caused by taking ginger during pregnancy.

However, ginger products are unlicensed in the UK, so buy them from a reputable source, such as a pharmacy or supermarket. Check with your pharmacist before you use ginger supplements.

Some women find that ginger biscuits or ginger ale can help reduce nausea. You can try different things to see what works for you.

Find out more about vitamins and supplements in pregnancy.

Acupressure might help morning sickness

Acupressure on the wrist may also be effective in reducing symptoms of nausea in pregnancy. Acupressure involves wearing a special band or bracelet on your forearm. Some researchers have suggested that putting pressure on certain parts of the body may cause the brain to release certain chemicals that help reduce nausea and vomiting.

There have been no reports of any serious adverse effects caused by using acupressure during pregnancy, although some women have experienced numbness, pain and swelling in their hands.

When to see a doctor for morning sickness

If you are vomiting and can’t keep any food or drink down, there is a chance that you could become dehydrated or malnourished. Contact your GP (*doctor) or midwife immediately if you:

  • have very dark-coloured urine or do not pass urine for more than eight hours
  • are unable to keep food or fluids down for 24 hours
  • feel severely weak, dizzy or faint when standing up
  • have abdominal (tummy) pain
  • have a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • vomit blood

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also cause nausea and vomiting. A UTI is an infection that usually affects the bladder but can spread to the kidneys.

If you have any pain when passing urine or you pass any blood, you may have a urine infection and this will need treatment. Drink plenty of water to dilute your urine and reduce pain. You should contact your GP within 24 hours.

Risk factors for morning sickness

A number of different factors may mean you are more likely to have nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. These include:

  • nausea and vomiting in a previous pregnancy
  • a family history of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, or morning sickness
  • a history of motion sickness – for example, in a car
  • a history of nausea while using contraceptives that contain oestrogen
  • obesity – where you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more
  • stress
  • multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets
  • first pregnancy

Visit the pregnancy sickness support site for tips on dealing with nausea and vomiting, and advice for partners too.

Find maternity services near you (in the UK)

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

NHS Choices logo


From www.nhs.uk

How to Manage Your Diabetes for a Safer Pregnancy

Diabetes and your unborn baby

Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too high.

Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods, such as bread and rice. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps your body to use glucose for energy.

Three types of diabetes can affect you when you’re pregnant:

The information on this page is for women who have pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy.

Most women with diabetes have a healthy baby, but diabetes does give you a higher risk of some complications.

If you already have diabetes

If you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may be at a higher risk of:

People with type 1 diabetes may develop problems with their eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and their kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), or existing problems may get worse.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your baby may be at risk of:

  • not developing normally and having congenital abnormalities, particularly heart and nervous system abnormalities
  • being stillborn or dying soon after birth
  • having health problems shortly after birth, such as heart and breathing problems, and needing hospital care
  • developing obesity or diabetes later in life

Reducing the risks if you have pre-existing diabetes

  • The best way to reduce the risk to your own and your baby’s health is to ensure your diabetes is controlled before you become pregnant.
  • Ask your GP or diabetes specialist (diabetologist) for advice. You should be referred to a diabetic pre-conception clinic for support before you try to get pregnant.
  • Find diabetes support services near you (UK)**.
  • You should be offered a blood test called an HbA1c test, which helps assess the level of glucose in your blood.
    • It’s best if the level is no more than 6.5% before you get pregnant, as long as this does not cause problems with hypoglycaemia (*hypoglycemia).
    • If your HbA1c is higher than this, you would benefit from getting your blood glucose under better control before you conceive to reduce the risk of complications for you and your baby.
    • Your GP or diabetes specialist can advise you on how best to do this.
    • If your HbA1c is very high (above 10%), your care team should strongly advise you not to try for a baby until it has fallen.

Folic acid

  • Women with diabetes should take a higher dose of folic acid. The normal daily dose for women trying to get pregnant and for pregnant women is 400 micrograms.
  • Diabetic women should take 5 milligrams (mg) a day. Your doctor can prescribe this high-dose folic acid for you, as 5mg tablets are not available over the counter.
  • Taking folic acid helps prevent your baby developing birth defects, such as spina bifida. You should take folic acid while you are trying to get pregnant, until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Your diabetes treatment in pregnancy

  • Your diabetic treatment regime is likely to need adjusting during your pregnancy, depending on your needs.
  • If you take drugs for conditions related to your diabetes, such as high blood pressure, these may have to be altered.
  • It’s very important to keep any appointments that are made for you so your care team can monitor your condition and react to any changes that could affect your own or your baby’s wellbeing.
  • Expect to monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently during pregnancy. Your eyes and kidneys will be screened more often to check they are not deteriorating in pregnancy, as eye and kidney problems can get worse.
  • You may also find that as you get better control over your diabetes you have more low blood sugar (hypoglycaemic) attacks. (*hypoglycemic) These are harmless for your baby, but you and your partner need to know how to cope with them.
  • Find out about treating a hypoglycaemic attack, and talk to your doctor or diabetes specialist.

Diabetic eye screening in pregnancy

You will be offered diabetic eye screening at recommended intervals during pregnancy if you had diabetes before you got pregnant (pre-existing diabetes).

This screening test is to check for signs of diabetic eye disease, including diabetic retinopathy.

Everyone with diabetes is offered diabetic eye screening, but screening is very important when you are pregnant because the risk of serious eye problems is greater in pregnancy.

Diabetic eye screening is strongly recommended in pregnancy. It is part of managing your diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy is treatable, especially if it is caught early.

If you decide not to have the test, you should tell the clinician looking after your diabetes care during pregnancy.

Read more about diabetic eye screening.

Labour and birth

If you have diabetes, it’s strongly recommended that you give birth with the support of a consultant-led maternity team in a hospital.

Read more about where you can give birth, including in hospital.

Babies born to diabetic mothers are often larger than normal. This is because blood glucose passes directly from you to your baby, so if you have high blood glucose levels your baby will produce extra insulin to compensate.

This can lead to your baby storing more fat and tissue. This in turn can lead to birth difficulties, which requires the expertise of a hospital team.

After the birth

Two to four hours after your baby is born they will have a heel prick blood test to check whether their blood glucose level is too low.

Feed your baby as soon as possible after the birth – within 30 minutes – to help keep your baby’s blood glucose at a safe level.

If your baby’s blood glucose can’t be kept at a safe level, they may need extra care. Your baby may be given a drip to increase their blood glucose.

Read more about special care for babies.

When your pregnancy is over, you won’t need as much insulin to control your blood glucose.

You can decrease your insulin to your pre-pregnancy dose or, if you have type 2 diabetes, you can return to the tablets you were taking before you became pregnant. Talk to your doctor about this.

If you had gestational diabetes, you can stop all treatment after the birth.

You should be offered a test to check your blood glucose levels before you go home and at your six-week postnatal check. You should also be given advice on diet and exercise.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

** Locate diabetes support services in the United States





« Previous PageNext Page »