Breastfeeding and Blood Sugars

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I forgot just how difficult the first few weeks with a newborn are.  If you take a look at the two graphs below, can you tell which one was during my pregnancy and which one was after?

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*Hint, the first is pregnancy and the second graph is postpartum

It is so much tougher to manage blood sugars postpartum.  I have all these crazy hormones trying to leave my body which affect my blood sugar.  I am breastfeeding which affects my blood sugars and also makes me super hungry so I’m snacking more and eating a lot more carbs!  I no longer have my amazing CDE who I can email at any moment to ask which changes she thinks I should make (she was on a pregnancy retainer).  Every single day is so different.  Even if I wanted to make a change, I don’t know what to make because breastfeeding has a crazy effect on my blood sugars.

Right now, my son goes between feeding every three or four hours to then cluster feeding and eating every like 45 minutes.  My blood sugar is affected by these changes to trying to predict what will happen is impossible.  Take a look at these two days.  On one day, I clearly need to adjust my overnight basal rates because I was fighting a high all night long.  The next night, my blood sugars did amazing overnight.  What in the world!?

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Cluster feeding all night long

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Baby slept more and didn’t nurse as much

What happened was the night where I was high, my son nursed at 8PM then went until 2AM before he wanted to nurse again!  From 2AM, he then went to 6AM so another longer spurt.  My breasts were so engorged in the morning because he wasn’t eating as much.  The next night, however, he was up from midnight until 3AM then again at 5AM.  I thought he was hungry so I nursed him then tried to put him back to sleep.  He wouldn’t sleep so I kept feeding him, thinking he must be hungry so I nursed him a lot that night.  As a result, my blood sugar stayed lower.  How in the world do I make basal changes when I have no idea what my son’s nursing schedule is going to look like!?

On nights where he isn’t nursing as frequently, I definitely need to make changes.  Nights that he is cluster-feeding, my rates seem to be OK.  I can only hope that the cluster feeding is a short lived phase as he is going through his 6 week growth spurt and make changes assuming he won’t be nursing as often.

I know things will get easier when my son’s nursing schedule gets sorted out and more consistent but until then I’m frustrated with all the highs and lows. Breastfeeding and managing blood sugars is pretty hard.  I miss my pregnancy days when my blood sugars were amazing (and when I was really insulin sensitive).

This guy turned 7 weeks old yesterday but I didn't get a photo so here is his 6 week photo :)

This guy turned 7 weeks old yesterday but I didn’t get a photo so here is his 6 week photo 🙂


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