Insulin for gestational diabetes

Insulin is a medicine that helps your body use glucose (sugar) for energy.

You'll need to be prescribed insulin for gestational diabetes if other treatments for gestational diabetes do not work well enough on their own to lower your blood glucose. For example, a healthy diet, regular exercise and taking metformin.

It can help prevent problems for you and your baby.

How you take insulin

You can inject insulin using an insulin pen. This is a device that helps you inject safely and take the right dose.

Using an insulin pen does not usually hurt. The needles are very small, as you only inject a small amount just under your skin.

Your diabetes nurse will show you where to inject and how to use your pen.

Blood glucose levels usually increase as your pregnancy progresses, so your insulin dose may need to be increased over time.

You can usually stop taking insulin once your baby is born. Your diabetes team will advise you on this.

Types of insulin for gestational diabetes

Your doctor or care team will discuss your treatment with you and recommend the insulin treatment they think is best for you.

Most people who need insulin treatment for gestational diabetes take a type of rapid-acting insulin (brand names include NovoRapid or Humalog) before meals.

You may also need another type of insulin that lasts for longer and is taken once a day. This is usually intermediate-acting insulin (Insulatard or Humulin I).