Giving yourself insulin injections

The thought of injecting insulin may make you feel anxious. However, with good training from your diabetes educator, doing it can be surprisingly comfortable.

Your health care provider and diabetes educator will show you where insulin can be injected. The most common site for pregnant women is the abdomen.

The needle poses no threat to your baby, which is well protected in your uterus far away from the needle.

Measuring and injecting a single type of insulin

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Roll the bottle of cloudy insulin between your hands and turn it upside down to mix.
  3. Remove the cover from the needle.
  4. Draw air into the syringe equal to your prescribed dose of _______ units.
  5. Put the needle into the top of the insulin bottle and shoot air in.
  6. Turn the bottle and the syringe upside down.
  7. Pull down and push up on the plunger two or three times - slowly - to get rid of air bubbles.
  8. Look carefully to make sure that all air bubbles are gone.
  9. Draw out your prescribed amount of insulin: _______ units _______ type.
  10. Pull the needle out of the bottle.
  11. Clean the skin at the injection site, if needed.
  12. Gently pinch skin and inject insulin. Your diabetes educator or doctor will advise you where to inject your insulin (usually the abdomen).

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Gestational Diabetes: When You Have Diabetes During Pregnancy, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-21-6
Reviewed By: Reviewed by Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
First Published: 11/27/2006
Last Reviewed: 01/20/2014

Tips
  • Your health care provider or diabetes educator will show you how to inject insulin.
  • Do not use insulin that is lumpy, sticks to the bottle or looks discolored. Return it to your pharmacy for a new bottle.