The torso of a woman wearing a lilac t-shirt and light blue jeans. She has an insulin pump on her hip and her thumbs in her back pocket.

What To Wear With A Tubed Insulin Pump

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When I first got an insulin pump back in 2014 there weren’t many choices on the market. The Omnipod was fairly new and it wasn’t a choice at my clinic at the time and so I went with a tubed insulin pump. I used Medtronic insulin pumps for 8 years, and now recently I have moved on to the T:Slimx2.

One of the most common questions I get asked about having a tubed insulin pump is “where do you put it?”. When you first get a pump it may seem a little strange having to find somewhere to put it, but I can safely say that after over 8 years I barely even think about it now.

What Is A Tubed Insulin Pump?

An insulin pump delivers tiny doses of insulin to the user 24 hours a day. It is used as a replacement for insulin injections. A tubed insulin pump is connected to the body by tubing, and the insulin is infused by a cannula placed under the skin. The cannula is replaced by the user every 2-3 days.

Tubed insulin pumps can be unclipped from the cannula for short periods, to do things like showering or swimming. The tubes come in various lengths to suit the user.

Insulin pumps are not a cure for diabetes. They offer greater flexibility and accuracy in insulin dosing, but still require a lot of work and are subject to human error.

A woman wearing a cream long sleeved body suit, high waisted light denim jeans and a brown belt. She has a medtronic insulin pump clipped to her belt. She has a hand in one pocket and is smiling, looking slightly away from the camera

Wearing Dresses With A Tubed Insulin Pump

Wearing dresses on any occasion can seem a bit daunting when you first get your tubed insulin pump. However once you’ve done it once you won’t hesitate again. For most dresses you can just tuck your pump into your bra, toss on some heeled ankle boots, grab a jacket and head off.

If you don’t want to put it in your bra (or perhaps there’s not much spare space) then there are a few other options. Most insulin pumps come with a clip, so you can clip it wherever you want. I have clipped it to the back of my dress on many occasions. Usually at the base of my neck, but once in a backless dress it was clipped on my lower back.

Find out where to store your insulin pump in your wedding dress for the perfect day

There is also the option of clipping it to a belt. If you are wearing a short sleeved dress and are using long tubing then you may be able to clip the pump onto the belt of your dress but bringing it out through the arm hole.

Where To Put An Insulin Pump Cannula In A Dress

You will find that most of these options relate to the pump being accessible at the top of your torso. For this reason it is usually easier to have your cannula on your stomach. If you have it placed on your thigh you will need much longer tubing to make it accessible in a dress from the top.

Wearing Skinny Jeans With An Insulin Pump

Skinny jeans, a hoodie and chunky boots are a day to day staple for many of us, especially in the autumn and winter. Unfortunately, them often come with small pockets that are too tight for a pump.

The insulin pump clip is really useful again here. You can either clip the pump into your waistband, belt or pocket to have it easily accessible.

A medtronic insulin pump clipped to a pair of jeans

Where To Put An Insulin Pump Cannula When Wearing Skinny Jeans

In skinny jeans it doesn’t usually matter where your cannula is. You may want to avoid the area of your waistband as tight trousers can dig in, but as trousers move around during the day it can be difficult to judge the exact placement.

Where To Put An Insulin Pump In Gym Clothes

Trying to keep your pump safe and secure when you’re moving around a lot in the gym is important. Often then can be safely tucked into a sports bra and it will not move around. This has the added benefit of keeping the tubing under your clothes, so there is no danger or it getting caught on the gym equipment.

Check out these tips for joining a gym with diabetes to get you started

Alternatively, you can use an insulin pump belt. There are various styles on the market, but they all work in the same way. You place the pump into the belt and it holds it hight to your body under your clothes.

Where To Put An Insulin Pump Cannula When Wearing Gym Clothes

Unless you work out on a regular schedule it is often not possible to plan ahead where your cannula will be when working out. However, it is best to avoid thighs or arms when you’re working out as the increased use of the muscles can affect your insulin absorption and speed it up.

What To Do With A Tubed Insulin Pump In Bed

There is no right or wrong answer to what to do with your insulin pump in bed. Some people leave it loose to roam around in the bed. Others tuck it into an insulin pump belt (my personal preference) and others clip it to their pyjamas. It really depends on how you sleep and what you find most comfortable.

Looking For More Information On Life With An Insulin Pump?

A sparkley stiletto boot on a dance floor
A blonde woman holding out a Medtronic insulin pump
A pink Medtronic Veo insulin pump, a contour next blood glucose monitor, an insulin vial and some test strips on a table. There is also a sliver bangle.

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