Diabetes in pregnancy – my story by Luci Talbot Clarke

Luci Talbot Clarke, a type 1 Diabetic, explains how she managed Diabetes in pregnancy, and how she deals with the condition now as a mum of three.

In the penultimate part of our diabetes focus series, CMR’s Luci Talbot Clarke explains what it’s like to experience Diabetes in pregnancy.

In 2009, Luci was delighted to find out she was pregnant. Her first son, Tristan, was born healthy in the autumn of 2009, swiftly followed by the arrival of twins Agatha and Henry in 2011.

“I often say that my biggest achievement was staying sane through the arrival of three children in 18 months,” laughs Luci. But how was pregnancy as a Diabetic mum different to that of someone without this life changing condition?

“Pregnancy was an exciting but very scary time for me. You hear terrible stories about children being born to Diabetic mums whose babies have suffered irreparable damage as result of the mum running high blood sugars during pregnancy. However the support I received from the medical profession was brilliant so all my pregnancies progressed smoothly. I had weekly scans and I actually had fantastic control as all you care about is your babies being healthy. So my control was definitely the best it had ever been.”

After birth

It was from then on that living with Diabetes in pregnancy got really hard. “Suddenly, I’d gone from career woman with only myself to look after to mum of three under 18 months. I admit that managing my Diabetes was a real struggle when the kids were tiny. I’d be trying to feed, change and soothe my babies while remembering to test regularly and inject properly. Breast feeding hugely affects your blood sugars too. It was definitely a struggle.” Luci is open about the fact that she suffered from post-natal depression and believes that more support should be available for T1 Diabetics going through pregnancy, and during other challenging stages of their lives. Patients with a lifelong chronic illness will often suffer depression at some time in their life and she feels this should probably be talked about more.

Jelly babies

And today? Her children – especially Tristan being a bit older – are fully aware that Luci has Diabetes. “My kids know everything. Where to find my jelly babies, that if mummy isn’t feeling well (and not making sense) to phone an ambulance and to say that I’m a T1 Diabetic. At first, the kids tried to nick the jelly babies but now they know they could keep me alive, they stay well clear!”

Liked Luci's story?

You can read more about Luci’s experience as a type 1 Diabetic here:
Part 1 – Diabetes in Childhood
Part 2 – DAFNE and Medical Devices
Part 3 – How I Manage Hypos

In Part 5, coming next week, Luci explains why her support network is so important to living positively with Diabetes.

Are you a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic?

At CMR, we have over 20 years’ experience of delivering specialist market research in the Diabetes field. Our clients – which include nine of the top 15 medical device manufacturers in the world – come to us to provide information about the usability of their Diabetes devices, including insulin pens, lancets, blood glucose meters, continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps.

We are always interested to hear from Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics who would like to take part in our market research projects. If you would like the opportunity to share your experience then we would love to hear from you. Joining our Participant Panel is free and if you are matched with a project then you will of course be paid for your time.

Click here to learn more about opportunities with the CMR Participant Panel.