Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Gestational Diabetes: Giving Yourself Insulin Shots

Gestational Diabetes: Giving Yourself Insulin Shots


If you have gestational diabetes and you have not been able to keep your blood sugar levels within a target range, you may need insulin shots.

  • Taking insulin can help prevent high blood sugar. High blood sugar can lead to problems for you and your baby.
  • Insulin is given as a shot into the fatty tissue just under the skin. In pregnant women, insulin usually is given in the upper arm or thigh.
  • Make sure that you:
    • Have the right dose of insulin, especially if you are giving two types of insulin in the same syringe.
    • Practice how to give your shot.
    • Store the insulin properly so that each dose will work well.
How to prepare and give an insulin shot

How to prepare and give an insulin shot

Your doctor or certified diabetes educator (CDE) will help you learn to prepare and give yourself insulin shots. Here are some simple steps to help you learn how to do it.

Get ready

To get ready to give an insulin shot, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and running water. Dry them thoroughly.
  2. Gather your supplies. Most people keep their supplies in a bag or kit so they can carry the supplies with them wherever they go.
    • You will need an insulin syringe, your bottle of insulin, and an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol.
    • If you are using an insulin pen, you will need a needle that works with your pen. If the pen is reusable, you may need an insulin cartridge. You may also need an alcohol swab.
  3. Check the insulin bottle or cartridge.
    • When you use an insulin bottle for the first time, write the date on the bottle. Insulin stored at room temperature will last for about a month. Read and follow all instructions on the label, including how to store the insulin and how long the insulin will last.
    • Check that a disposable pen's insulin has not expired. This date is usually printed on the pen's label.

Prepare the shot

Your preparation will depend on whether you are giving one type of insulin or mixing two types of insulin.

  • To prepare a shot with a single type of insulin, follow the steps for preparing a single dose of insulin.
  • To prepare a shot containing two types of insulin, follow the steps for preparing a mixed dose of insulin.

If you are using an insulin pen, follow the manufacturer's instructions for attaching the needle, priming the pen, and setting the dose.

Prepare the site

Before giving your shot, take the time you need to do the following:

  • Choose the part of your body to inject. If you give your shots in different places on your body each day, use the same site at the same time of day. For example, each day:
    • At breakfast, give your insulin into one of your arms.
    • At dinner, give your insulin into one of your legs.
  • If you use alcohol to clean the skin before you give the shot, let it dry.
  • Relax your muscles in the area of the shot.

Give the shot

  • Follow the steps for giving an insulin shot in the arm.
  • Follow the steps for giving an insulin injection into the belly with a insulin pen. Or use the instructions from the company that makes the pens.

Clean up and storage

After giving your shot:

  • Store your insulin properly so that each dose will work well. Follow the instructions that come with the insulin.
  • Do not throw your used syringe, disposable insulin pen, or needle in a trash can. You can dispose of it in a metal container that either has a lid that screws on or a lid that you tape down tightly. You also can buy special containers for disposing of used needles and syringes. Talk with your local trash disposal agency, pharmacy, or your doctor about how to get rid of the container.

Other suggestions for success and safety

To help you be safe and successful in giving your insulin shots:

  • Teach someone else to give your insulin shots. Have that person give you a shot from time to time so they will know how to do it in case of an emergency.
  • Do not mix other medicine with insulin without your doctor's instruction. If you are taking two types of insulin, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether they can be mixed in the same syringe.
  • Never share syringes with another person. Diseases, such as HIV or infection of the liver (hepatitis), can be transferred through blood.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About The Cigna Group Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details