Vaginal Births with Type 1 Diabetes, with Yana Katzap-Nackman

Despite living with Type 1 Diabetes since she was 5, Yana was determined to have a vaginal birth for her first birth (although the induction requirement caught her by surprise). Second time around, her goal was to have another vaginal birth, but without an induction. Check out how Yana took charge and advocated very matter-of-factly, in order to have the unmedicated, vaginal birth of her healthy child, on her own terms.

Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • Types of diabetes
  • Preparing your body for a sustainable pregnancy and healthy baby
  • How getting an insulin pump changed her life
  • Making sure your eyes are ready
  • Optimal A1C levels before conceiving
  • I have to have an induction?
  • A favorable cervix
  • Epidural expectations and challenges
  • Her relationship to music, and the serendipity of a nurse who is also a singer
  • Where is this anger coming from? (processing inappropriate words by provider)
  • Feeling triumphant of having a vaginal birth with Type 1 diabetes
  • Breastfeeding difficulties: I didn’t fail at this, the system failed me.
  • Second pregnancy with all the knowledge, and then some!
  • Trusting her dream despite A1C levels (and having to comfort the doc!)
  • Switching from a doctor who didn’t have time for her preferences
  • Releasing fears, getting a doula, surrounding herself with community
  • Doing all the things to encourage labor without an induction
  • Taking herself off the induction list
  • “This is all me.”
  • Observing herself giving birth
  • “Get me a stretcher!” and other pre-pushing orders.
  • Experiencing the breast-crawl
  • “It’s easy to advocate after you’ve done your homework.”


Yana and her son


Resources and links to info mentioned on the show*:


Yana and her daughter


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Courtesy of Yana and her family

About Yana Katzap-Nackman

Yana Katzap-Nackman was 5 years old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She always strived to live a normal life and vowed that diabetes would not stop her. After 2 years of marriage, when she and her husband decided to get pregnant, she had to get ready for it. From tests to getting on an insulin pump to laser eye surgery. This was all apart of the preconception work. Baby number one was induced at 38 weeks of gestation (Standard policy with people with T1D). There was such a learning curve throughout this experience. From pregnancy to parenthood, there was so much that needed to process.

After this experience, Yana decided to become a doula. When she went through the training, there were so many “a-ha” moments. She finally understood why there was an anger underlying her first experience.

When she was pregnant with her second child, she read books, took trainings, and spoke with her birthing community. She learned from midwives and lactation consultants. She changed doctors in mid-pregnancy to someone more attuned to her needs. Her baby girl was born on her terms. It was a beautiful unmedicated vaginal birth.

Yana is a big advocate for people with T1D. She is passionate about reminding people that diabetes does not have to take over their pregnancy and cloud their delivery. Working TOGETHER with the right OB and endocrinologist can make a big difference in the birth outcome and overall experience for people with T1D.

Yana is a certified Birth and Postpartum doula for almost 16 years. She is a postpartum doula trainer through DONA International and is also an IBCLC in private practice.

Yana Contributed her first birth story to her Doctor’s book “Conquering Diabetes: A Cutting Edge, Comprehensive Program for Prevention and Treatment” By Anne Peters, MD (P.285-87)

Learn more about Yana, or contact her, at



Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

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