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Insulin injection areas for gestational diabetes

Front and back of woman's body, showing areas where insulin may be injected

There are several areas of the body where insulin may be injected. You can give yourself a shot in:

  • The belly, at least 2 in. (5.1 cm) from the belly button. The belly is the best place to inject insulin. This is because the belly area can absorb insulin most consistently. If you are in your third trimester, your skin over your belly may be too tight. Find a spot on the side of your belly where you can raise your skin in a fold between your fingers.
  • The front of the thighs. Insulin usually is absorbed more slowly from this site. It may go more quickly here if you exercise soon after injecting insulin.
  • The back of the upper arms.
  • The upper buttocks.

Rotate your injection locations often. And at each location, slightly change the injection spot each time you inject insulin. Using the same spot every time can form bumps or pits in the skin. For example, inject your insulin in your left upper arm, then the next time in your upper thigh, then the next time in your left upper arm again but slightly lower than before. Avoid injecting in the exact same spot.

Current as of: August 31, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine

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