Working While T1 and pregnant

Hi everyone,


I'm wondering if most of you worked full time while pregnant? We are tentatively planning on trying in the next year or so, and I'm just having trouble figuring out how I'm going to balance the really tight control, changing insulin needs/blood sugar levels, with my full-time job where I can't just stop what I'm doing all the time to make sure my blood sugar is spot on. I have an easy enough time balancing it while not pregnant (my a1c's are usually in the low 6 range), but obviously I'd want it even lower for a pregnancy and at the same time dealing with changing needs, hormones, morning sickness, etc... well, has me worried. On the other hand, it seems kind of ludicrous to quit my job just to be pregnant, I don't know what I'd do with myself :). I believe my employer would be understanding, but the bigger issue is that I'm not just sitting at a desk, I'm seeing clients/patients all day (as a speech pathologist). And, of course, it doesn't really make sense to take a hit to our income when we're thinking of starting a family. On the other hand, a happy/healthy baby/pregnancy is ultimately the most important thing to me.


I guess, all that summed up, I'm just looking for input and/or tips from people on how to balance work, diabetes and pregnancy? Or if there are other people who took time off or reduced working during pregnancy?


Thank you! Have been lurking on posts and this seems like a great community!

Great question!  This is one of my fears as well.  Really I wonder about doctor's appointments.

I think the key is open communication with your employer.  Perhaps you can lower your caseload?

My experience was that it is a lot of work but manageable.  I did have to spend a little more time making sure that I had healthy snacks and meals a nd tested my blood sugars before and one hour after each meal.  I would fax in my numbers to my high-risk OB twice a week.  I got the hang of that pretty quickly.  I went to a LOT of  doctors appointments and a little later on fetal monitoring twice a week.  Things that helped were one I went to a high risk OB that also managed my blood sugars, so I did not have separate appointments with my Endo and my OB. The doctors office prescheduled all of my appointments for the entire pregnancy once I was about 16 weeks along. I was able to get the best timeslots for me then, most of my appointments were at 8 AM.  That meant minimal disruption to work, which I think my boss appreciated.

I think you will not know how you're going to be able to handle the situation until you're actually in it. I would just take it one day at a time for now. I ended up working up until a week before my baby was delivered and I was so glad that I did because I was able to take a little more time off once the baby was born and I felt great up until the end.  Congrats and try not to stress!

I am currently 17 weeks pregnant, a type 1, and working full-time!  It's absolutely possible!  I feel the thing that has helped me the most is my relationship with my doctor.  He is avid about working with me to ensure the healthiest and safest pregnancy possible.  My blood sugars were fairly good before getting pregnant, but obviously once I became pregnant we wanted to get them in as tight control as possible.  Doing that while working full-time can definitely be difficult, but I've found planning ahead helps.  I usually try to figure out my snacks and lunches a day or two before, then that way when I'm at work I already know what I'm eating, how many carbs, and how much insulin to bolus.  My doctor also got me on a continuous glucose monitor as soon as we found out I was pregnant.  This has been a lifesaver!  During my first trimester I experienced a lot of lows (which is normal during that time) and the CGM helped me to catch them before I went too low.  It has also helped me continue to drop my a1c and I've found it extremely helpful.

Basically, anything is possible if you are willing to put in the time and do the work!  I think an open and effective relationship with your doctor is the biggest thing, and then from there just trying your best to plan ahead and take care of yourself!  Trust me, I still have my highs and lows, but my pregnancy has been fine and continues to go well!  Just remember, anything worthwhile takes effort, and I think if anything is worth it, a baby is!  Good luck!

Okay, I wanted to weigh in on this, I am a type one diabetic, 26 years old- suffered from infertility for years, and finally pregnant with TWINS!!! and diabetic! I am a hot a mess, had 15 weeks of 24/7 vomiting, about 15 times a day, and finally it slowed down ( i am 16 weeks now)...anyways, I work as a paramedic, i am in and out of an ambulance all day, in and out of the heat, lifting patients, put in stressful high risk situations and i am working full time carrying twins and diabetic...all i am saying is I can't imagine why you wouldn't work, when some jobs are more phsyically demanding then others its definitely manageable and doctor isn't impressed that i am still working full time, but knows two babies are quite expensive, and she has allowed me to work between 20-28 weeks....not sure when she will pull me out, but 28 is the latest. at 20 weeks they expect me to be carrying full term size for a singleton because of the diabetes and twins I ll essentially be--- HUGE! lol....

good luck, and definitely give it a try

I worked right up until I was induced.  It was funny because 5 of the 7 women in my department were all pregnant at the same time.  Some people feel yucky during their pregnancy.  Once I got past the first trimester tiredness I felt great.

I have an office job that entails planning special events like dinners and receptions (and a lot of long hours).  As long as I took time to test my blood sugar and eat I didn't have any problems keeping my A1c tight and my pregnancy healthy.

I worked full-time (with very understanding employers considering the volume of dr. appts) up until I was 34 weeks, then taken out of work due to low placental fluid.  I was induced at 38 weeks due to the fluid, as well.

For my second pregnancy, I was working part-time (75%), had a 1 year old and worked up until I was induced at 38 weeks.  

Honestly, I'm exhausted just thinking about that 2nd pregnancy.  ;-)

Thanks for the input everyone. I'm trying to be more zen about it and figure I will keep working like usual unless it becomes a problem. Like I said, it's just hard to imagine since I'm already a bit worried about keeping such tight control (as I'm sure most people are). I used to have a desk job where it was no problem at all for me to test, eat, even change an infusion site pretty much anytime I needed to, but now that I have a client sitting in front of me 90% of the time, it's not exactly very professional to stop a therapy session to take care of my diabetes :). But that's nothing compared to being a paramedic, t1 and pregnant! Thank you all again, I'm sure I'll be on this board a lot when we actually take the leap and do it (probably this fall assuming okays from all the docs!).

It is completely doable, but it can be quite hard.  I'm an assistant professor and worked full time this past semester (4 courses, office hours, advising, research, committees, etc.).  It was not my best semester, I was exhausted and had to push back on some of my work (I ended up working 50 hours a week instead of my usual 70 or so), but the students still learned what they needed to and final grades were just submitted today (I'm at 33 weeks).

I ended up explaining what was going on to all of my classes because I did have to sometimes eat a snack in front of them or do something to take care of myself.  They were all very understanding (or at least they pretended to be :).  Initially I did try to find ways to discretely check blood sugars and eat snacks - small beverages and pieces of candy are pretty easy to consume in front of people without too many questions.  I checked my blood sugar pretty much any chance I had where I was not in a meeting or a classroom, and this helped a ton as well.

And there were days where I just fell asleep as soon as I got home.  I had to come to terms with this, but it was absolutely necessary for my health and my child's.  So keep in mind that there will be times that you'll need a break, and it's ok to take one.

Of course all of this depends on how the pregnancy goes, I was fairly lucky with how I felt most of the time, and my a1c's have been in the 5's (which I am still shocked by).

Now if I can just get all of the work done that I need to get done before July...