When you have Gestational Diabetes, using insulin may become part of your management plan. You may be nervous about injecting insulin at first. Meet with your diabetes care team to go over the correct steps for injecting insulin with a syringe.

Whether you are injecting a single dose or a mixed dose, the steps for injecting are the same.

Insulin should be injected into fatty tissue. The recommended injection areas are: the abdomen or belly, the backs of the arms, the tops or sides of the thigh, and the buttocks or rear.

With some insulins, where you inject on your body can make a difference in how fast the insulin will go to work, or its onset. Work with your diabetes care team to find the injection area that is best for you.

Try to use the same area at the same time every day but you should change the actual injection site each time you inject. This helps keep your skin and underlying tissues healthy. When injecting into your abdomen, make sure to stay 2 inches away from any scar tissue or your navel.

Once you have selected an injection site, wipe the skin with alcohol and wait a few seconds for it to dry.

Inject at a 90-degree angle. Press the syringe plunger firmly and smoothly. When using shorter needles, you may need to leave the needle in the skin for a few seconds for the best absorption. Then pull the needle straight out.

After taking the injection, drop the syringe needle into a Sharps container, which you can get at your diabetes product supplier. If you don’t have a Sharps container, a heavy plastic bottle with a tight-fitting lid clearly labeled that it contains medical waste will work, too.

In some areas, you are asked not to put filled sharps containers in your regular trash for collection. Your diabetes care team can tell you if your community has a specific place to take your sharps container when it is full.

Injecting insulin may seem difficult at first but once you get the hang of it, it will become a regular part of your pregnancy routine. With each injection you are doing something positive for your baby.

Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, March 2020


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