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Summer Diabetes Management Routines: Fashion Edition

By Karrie Hawbaker

Public Relations Manager

Posted:  6/25/2013 3:00 PM


Summertime brings warmer weather, which means a lighter wardrobe of skirts, shorts and swimwear. So, we asked some of our friends in the diabetes online community for some tips on how they wear their insulin pumps with summer fashion.  Read what they had to say, then tell us your own tips in the comments!

•  I wear sundresses and skirts a lot in the summer, and I wear my insulin pump. I wear a garter for my pump around my leg when I wear dresses or skirts and it works great! And if you don't have a garter, try the Spanx or bikeshorts, they also do the trick! At the beach, I've found that a bikini or a V-Neck one piece swimsuit works excellent with my pump! Bikinis allow you to clip your pump to your hip and V-Neck one pieces allow you to clip your pump in the front - and as a bonus, V-Neck one pieces give the illusion of extra curves in the process ;)  Kelly Kunik, living with diabetes for 35 years

•  I am no longer a “true” bikini wearer (age and 2 children put those days behind me)!  I now opt for “tankinis” which actually work great for my pump. When I am beach or pool side I simply clip my pump to the bikini style bottoms, but the length of the top allows for my pump to be slightly covered- keeping it away from too much sun screen, sand, and water exposure. It also allows for fairly discreet disconnection/reconnection for when I am ready to be in the water. – Cheryl Cormany, Medtronic employee, 32 years old and living with diabetes for 27 years

•  If I’m just running or walking along the beach, I’ll clip the pump on my shorts/swim trunks. For other outdoor summer activities, I just clip it my belt, or put it in a small fanny pack.  My son who also has diabetes does the same thing. If he’s not in the water, the pump is clipped to shorts. – Jeff Myers, Medtronic employee, living with diabetes for 31 years,  talking about him and his 12-year-old son Benjamin who also has diabetes

•  When I wear skirts or sundresses, I have bike shorts on underneath. They are sturdy enough to hold the pump with the clip. I haven't quite figured out how to get to my pump with a dress on, so I usually just hit the ladies room to enter in my BG and carbs. –Sydney Gambrill, 12 years old, living with diabetes for 5 years

This is the first part of our series on summertime diabetes management routines, so be sure to check back as the temperature rises here on The LOOP!

Editors note: These are personal experiences from each of the individuals based on their own diabetes management. We can’t recommend or guarantee any of the tips or the products mentioned so be sure to work with your healthcare team as you make your plans for the summer.

- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

For more information, please visit:


Mindy Merwitzer

Posted on Tue Jun 25 17:55:00 GMT 2013

I have had diabetes for 27 years and pump wearing for about 10 years. I normally keep my pump in a pocket and hope that the weather wont disconnect me from my pump. When I put on a swim suit I put my pump between my breasts.


Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:01:00 GMT 2013

I have had diabetes for 43 years and worm a pump for 15 years.
I place it in a velcro strap (provided by Medtronics) and wear it around my hips under my pants.It has served me well

Barbara Young

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:06:00 GMT 2013

I live in Florida and it is always summer here! The important thing about summer and hot weather is taking the time to wipe off the exterior of the pump. We are sweatier and use more sunscreen. Inevitably it gets on the pump. I use a damp washcloth and dry immediately. I also take a washcloth or hand towel to the pool or beach ( especially on a cruise) and may un hook the pump from my waist and place it under the towel beside me. It is more comfortable if lying down and i can always put my pump under it when i get into the water. While wearing a dress, I put the pump in my bra between my boobs. Easy access& discreet.

Angelica Koder

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:09:00 GMT 2013

I'm not real shy about letting my pump be seen if I can I hide it in my clothing I will such as, clipping to the inside of my shorts and skirts, clipping to my bra if I'm wearing a v cut one for dresses. As far as bikinis go I just clip it to my hip or hold it in my hand if I'm laying out. Any tips on tan lines from the port sites?!?! Lol

Teresa Vaught

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:10:00 GMT 2013

What do you do with your infusion set while you are swimming? Do you cap it off somehow? If so where can you buy the caps?

Louisa Turner

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:12:00 GMT 2013

I am just too modest for a bikini I prefer skirted one piece suits so I put my infusion set into my thigh so I'm able to disconnect easier if I go into the water without hiking my suit up to disconnect or having to go into a ladies room to pull my top down to disconnect at my abdomen.

Jesus Sandoval

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:13:00 GMT 2013

I started to ride my bike. Should I take off my pump while riding my back or what is the best way to avoid any damage to it in case of falling out of me. I RODE THE TOUR THE CURE IN COLUMBUS OHIO ON JUNE 8th AND WHILE I WAS RIDING IT I TOOK IT OFF FOR ABOUT 4 hour because I was afraid of losing it. What is the best way to carry my pump while riding my bike.

June S.

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:16:00 GMT 2013

I am wondering if any of you has an idea as to how to wear a Medtronic Revel 523 with CGMS along with a sundress or, for that matter, any dress. Since I need to frequently turn off alarms on my CGMS by pressing buttons, putting that pump in a garter means that I would need to constantly lift up my dress in order to see the Hi and Lo blood glucose alarms (and predicted alarms.) That is unacceptable, in polite society!

Laura Zufan

Posted on Tue Jun 25 18:17:00 GMT 2013

The only way I have found to wear a sun dress is also with a pair of shorts underneath my sun dress also. Skirts and shorts are much easier to wear. Swimming I find much harder to do because I have no trouble finding a swimsuit but if I want to go swimming with my husband I either have to wear the water proof container for my pump which I find very hard to work with or I have to unhook the pump and then I can only unhook for a period of an hour at a time. There are times I just fell it's easier not to swim and we like to go snorkeling. I just got The Medtronic Paradigm and I thought that I could shower in it and I can't. I told them I did want a water proof one but I guess Medicare and blue cross wouldn't pay for one. I just thank god that I do have a meter because my diabetics is a lot more controlled then it was with shots. I have had diabetics for 30 years. I pray every night for a cure...

Sheila Green

Posted on Wed Jun 26 19:37:00 GMT 2013

I have had type 1 for 59 years - pumping for 10 years - and I am STILL very conscious about people seeing my pump ! I now live in Florida and find it so hard to conceal the just seems like this awkward thing on my hip, waist, an extra square boob...I am always knocking it on things....its uncomfortable when I lie on it.....? any suggestions?

amanda buffenbarger

Posted on Thu Jun 27 19:39:00 GMT 2013

when I wear my insulin pump in the summer I had it under a long t-shirt no matter what I'm doing. I went camping with it biking hiking and I like that it can be disconnected whenever you go out for a swim or just to cool off in the water hose. 20 years old


Posted on Tue Jul 02 19:40:00 GMT 2013

Thank you all for sharing your tips with us! I’m sorry it took so long to get them posted and responded to, we were having technical issues with this blog.
@ Teresa, you can disconnect your insulin pump while swimming. Using an infusion set cap isn’t required, but these caps come with most of our infusion sets in the packaging so feel free to use them for swimming.
@ Jesus, I think your question comes down to personal preference and the recommendations of your healthcare team. Some tuck their pump into the spandex of their shorts or wear it in a pump case clipped on to their waist. You can also check out the different cases and clips we offer here:
@June and Sheila Great question! Feel free to visit our website to learn more about the options on where you can wear your insulin pump For an extra laugh about the topic of wearing an insulin pump and feeling self-conscious, you might enjoy this from guest blogger Maggie Hunts
@ Laura, Just as a reminder, Medtronic insulin pumps are rated water resistant, but not waterproof, so while typically they’re fine in the case of an accidental splash or dunk, we don’t recommend submerging them in water. You can find more information about water activities here:

Kim Detwiler

Posted on Fri Jul 19 19:41:00 GMT 2013

Laura, if I'm going to go snorkeling and be at the beach all day, I use a long acting insulin to cover my basal rate for the day. I leave my pump site on and keep my pump in a cooler. When it's time to eat or give a bolus, I just plug it back in and give a bolus. I always have messed up sugars when I take my pump off to go swimming or snorkeling for a while. This method seems to work better for me.

Gary Rezendes

Posted on Fri Jul 19 19:43:00 GMT 2013

When I'm in a bathing suit, usually they have pockets. I will make a cut in the upper potion of the pocket so I can slip the connection through the cut and place the pump in the pocket. That way the pump is out of the sun and doesnt get sun screen on it. The only thing I watch for is sand in the pocket. When I have to disconnect it is rather easy and reconnecting is not a problem either.


Posted on Fri Jul 19 19:44:00 GMT 2013

I read from different folks talking about using a garter on your thigh so you can wear a dress. Is this a regular garter or something made especially
for pumps? And where do you buy them.

Tammie Kirkham

Posted on Fri Jul 19 19:45:00 GMT 2013

I just clip mine inside the top of my coverup and hook up to my thigh. It works great so that I can just disconnect and pull it thru to go swimming. As far as dresses it is very easy to have a small buttonhole type opening in the side of your dress and a small loop on the outside to hook your pump to. I also try to buy skirts and dresses with pockets so then I just have to put in an access hole and I try to hide the hole with a belt or ribbon. As for hiding my pump, no way! I wear it proud bc I am fighting it. I am not ashamed of my pump I am glad to have it instead of so many shots each day and am happy to answer any questions someone might have about it.


Posted on Fri Jul 19 20:23:55 GMT 2013

I do all the above, but sometimes I wear a dress or skirt that has pockets I take a seam ripper and take out some of the stitches and then put the pump thru the hole in the pocket and attach it to either the inside or outside of the pocket.

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