hypos. By the second trimester it is plainer
sailing, with less insulin required - or so I
found. I just ate small snacks if I went low.
The third trimester was a bit trickier and
at that point I found it really useful to have
a CGM sensor. At this stage, you can't
really wait for several days in order to see
a pattern emerge, you have to act faster.
Now I'm pregnant again and this time I'm
experiencing slightly more highs than I did
before, but that's possibly because I'm
also looking after Barnaby at the same
time - when I was pregnant with him, that
was all I was concentrating on."
So the big question then becomes, how
was the birth? "For Barnaby's birth I
refused to go on a 'sliding scale' which
was standard practice at the hospital,"
says Holland, "but my Type 1 team was
amazing, my doctor was both a genius
and a miracle worker. Apparently, I was
the first woman at Kings on MDI not to
have a sliding scale** for giving birth.
Throughout the delivery myself and my
partner controlled my sugars. In the early
stages I was a bit low and was snacking,
then in the later stages I needed a few
units of insulin."
After Barnaby was born, his mum
embarked on five months of breastfeeding.
CGM funding for pregnancy sensibly
continues for the first three months after
birth, which can be a very challenging
time with hormone levels changing,
sleepless nights and all that looking after a
new baby entails. Holland says, "It was an
added reassurance to have the funding
for Dexcom for the first three months
after his birth. I did experience quite a lot
of weird hypos out of the blue. I did have
a break from Dexcom due to the NHS
funding running out. I had a small break
as, for a while, it had been quite intense.
Then we decided to try for a second baby
after the pandemic began, essentially due
to the collapse of the music industry -
there were no performances, no work.
We thought we may as well extend the
maternity experience while we have the
Holland has since moved out of
London to Hastings on the East Sussex
coast. She continues, "I have had
Dexcom funding approved again for
this pregnancy although I now attend a
different hospital, in fact the same one
that I was in when I was diagnosed ten
years ago. I was the first person at that
hospital to have Dexcom approved for
pregnancy, so I have been part of getting
it rolling at that centre. My pregnancy
experience has been very different this
time around. My insulin resistance was
high throughout the first trimester and I've
had far fewer hypos. I'm now past the first
trimester, Dexcom remains amazing and it
helps that I've been through a pregnancy
already. The second time around is a bit
less scary as I've done it before, and it
turned out really well the first time!"
*DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal
Eating) is a specific diabetes education
course for people who use insulin. Ask
your HCP if it is available in your area.
**A sliding scale is when a patient
is hooked up to a drip with a sugar
solution in one arm and a drip with an
insulin solution in the other arm, the
idea being to balance out the diabetes
patient's control by adjusting the two,
necessary if a patient is unable to look
Olivia Holland wearing a
Dexcom G6 with son Barnaby.