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When Do They Test For Gestational Diabetes

Is There Anything I Should Be Afraid Of

Why I OPTED OUT of the Gestational Diabetes Glucose Test (and you can too!)

If gestational diabetes is diagnosed and treated effectively, there is little risk of complications. In such cases, women with gestational diabetes can have healthy babies, and diabetes should disappear after delivery.

However, if it is not treated, effects on the mother and baby can include:

  • Large birth weight -those who weigh 9 pounds or more are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, have birth injuries or need a cesarean delivery.
  • Premature delivery an early delivery may be recommended because the baby is large.
  • Respiratory distress syndrome babies born early to mothers with gestational diabetes may experience Serious breathing difficulties.
  • Low blood sugar sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes have low blood sugar shortly after birth. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia may cause seizures in the baby. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the babys blood sugar level to normal.
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Stillbirth. Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a babys death either before or shortly after birth.

You Should Be Tested For Diabetes After Pregnancy

After you deliver the baby, you still need to monitor your blood sugar. You should be tested for diabetes six to twelve weeks after the baby is born. After that, you should get tested every one to three years. Half of all women who had gestational diabetes later develop type 2 diabetes. Continuing to eat well and exercise can reduce your risk.

At Green Valley OB/GYN, we want to make sure you and your future baby get the best care possible to promote good health for you both. If you have concerns about pregnancy, whether it be gestational diabetes or something else, call us at 378-1110 to schedule an appointment.

What Not To Eat

Most Cereals It is extremely hard to find a high fiber, low sugar breakfast cereal. If you must have your daily bowl opt instead for real oatmeal or a basic bran cereal .

White Foods White bread/bagels/tortillas, pasta, and sugar are the big no-nos. White potatoes arent great either although I still ate mashed potatoes every once in a while. gestational diabetes

Juice Its all sugar and all the beneficial fiber of the fruit has been taken out. Instead, add some fresh fruit or lemon to your water. Same goes for soda and energy drinks just dont do it.

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When Are Glucose Screenings Done

Screening for gestational diabetes usually is done at 24 to 28 weeks. Testing may be done earlier for women who are at higher risk of having it, such as those who:

  • have previously had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are obese
  • are older than age 25
  • have sugar in the urine on routine testing
  • have high blood pressure
  • have polycystic ovary syndrome

How To Prevent And Treat Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes and its Management

The best way to prevent gestational diabetes is by eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise before you become pregnant. You are less likely to develop diabetes and other complications during pregnancy if your body is at a healthy weight.

If youre considering becoming pregnant and want to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes, set up a pre-conception appointment. Well help you discover if there are any lifestyle changes you can make now that will set you up for a successful, healthy pregnancy!

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, we will refer you to a diabetic educator and nutritionist at Meriter Hospital in Madison. There, youll learn more about what diabetes is, what causes it, and how to treat it. Youll learn how to get your blood sugar under control and will have help from a dietitian to create a menu plan.

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Early Diagnosis And Management

Gestational diabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

You should be tested for type 2 diabetes:

  • six weeks to six months after giving birth
  • when you are planning another pregnancy
  • every three years (or more often depending on risk factors

It’s important to know if you have type 2 diabetes when starting a family. If undiagnosed, having untreated diabetes during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarrying or having a baby born with a malformation. Knowing if you have type 2 diabetes and learning how to manage it can also prevent or delay future complications like heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

Early diagnosis and management is crucial for the health of you and your baby.

What Are The Complications Of Gestational Diabetes

If your blood sugar levels remain high during your pregnancy, this may lead to pregnancy problems such as a large baby, miscarriage or stillbirth. Having a large baby can lead to complications and injury during the birth, and increase the chances of having intervention in labour such as a caesarean birth. But the baby will not be born with diabetes.

If you have gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure while you are pregnant and a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Your baby is also at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.

To reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • keep to a healthy weight
  • eat a healthy diet
  • be physically active
  • check your blood glucose levels

You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and support.

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More Than One Test May Be Needed For Diagnosis

There are a couple of tests used to determine whether a woman has gestational diabetes. The first is called a Glucose Challenge Test. Depending on the results of this first test, a second test called a Glucose Tolerance Test may be necessary.

For the glucose challenge test, you do not need to fast before the appointment. There are two steps for this test:

  • At the beginning of the appointment, youll be given about five ounces of a glucose solution to drink. The solution is syrupy and some women may find they do not like the taste.
  • You stay in the office or lab setting for an hour to wait to have your blood tested. After the hour is up, blood is drawn from a vein in your arm. The blood will then be tested to see your blood sugar level.

If your blood sugar is too high , you might have gestational diabetes. To confirm the diagnosis, you will need to have a different test done.

The second test will be a glucose tolerance test. This test differs from the glucose challenge test in several ways even if the general idea is the same. For example, the glucose tolerance test takes three hours instead of just one and you must fast before the appointment. Then the process is as follows:

  • A blood sample is taken at the beginning to determine fasting blood sugar.
  • You will drink about eight ounces of the glucose solution.
  • Your blood glucose level will be tested again one, two and three hours after you drink the solution.

How The Test Is Performed

What do I need to know about gestational diabetes?


During the first step, you will have a glucose screening test:

  • You do not need to prepare or change your diet in any way.
  • You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose.
  • Your blood will be drawn 1 hour after you drink the glucose solution to check your blood glucose level.

If your blood glucose from the first step is too high, you will need to come back for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:

  • DO NOT eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
  • You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose, 100 grams .
  • You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 3 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked.
  • Allow at least 3 hours for this test.


You need to go to the lab one time for a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. For this test:

  • DO NOT eat or drink anything for 8 to 14 hours before your test.
  • You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose .
  • You will have blood drawn before you drink the liquid, and again 2 more times every 60 minutes after you drink it. Each time, your blood glucose level will be checked.
  • Allow at least 2 hours for this test.

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Gestational Diabetes And Wellbeing

Some women can feel vulnerable and anxious when theyre pregnant. And finding out you have gestational diabetes might make these feelings worse.

“Theres a lot of shame and misconceptions attached to being a diabetic. I was really upset and in denial for a while. I was worried about the baby. I was also worried if I would be diabetic in future. I was encouraged by my diabetes team to stay active. I made time to do it for myself, for my mental sanity at this difficult time.” Rei

If youre feeling anxious, talk to your care team and ask for support. This support might come from healthcare professionals, voluntary organisations or other services. You can find out more on the NHS website.

Pregnancy can also cause depression in some women. Symptoms may include not wanting to do anything or see anyone, feeling down for long periods of time, not sleeping well or sleeping too much, overeating or not eating enough and feeling bad about yourself.

During pregnancy, your midwife and care team should ask if youve ever had problems with your mental health and whether youre having any now. Dont be afraid to be open and ask for support. Its a hard thing to do, but asking for help and talking about how youre feeling can be really helpful.

Id really recommend newly diagnosed mums speak to other mums with, or whove had, gestational diabetes, if they can. The moral support really helps. Vicky, a journalist from London

Why Do I Need A Gtt

During pregnancy some women develop gestational diabetes, which usually resolves after your baby is born, and a further blood test with your GP surgery will be taken six weeks after delivery to ensure this. It is important that this is recognised in order for the appropriate advice and treatment to be accessed, for the wellbeing of you and your baby.

Some people are more likely to develop gestational diabetes if they have:

  • A family history of diabetes
  • A body mass index of greater than 30
  • Delivered a larger than average weight baby
  • Had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • Have a family origin with a higher prevalence to diabetes, such as being of South Asian, Afro-Caribbean or Middle Eastern decent.

What should I do before coming for the GTT?

As your midwife has identified a risk factor for gestational diabetes you will have been given an appointment for an oral Glucose Tolerance Test, usually at around 26/28 weeks of pregnancy.

You will need to have two blood tests taken. The second blood test will be taken two hours after the first. You will need to remain within the clinic until the test is completed. If you walk around or go home the test will become invalid as you will be burning off the sugar you have been given.

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What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal blood values for a 3-hour 100-gram oral glucose tolerance test are:

  • Fasting: greater than 95 mg/dL
  • 1 hour: greater than 180 mg/dL
  • 2 hour: greater than 155 mg/dL
  • 3 hour: greater than 140 mg/dL


Abnormal blood values for a 2-hour 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test are:

  • Fasting: greater than 92 mg/dL
  • 1 hour: greater than 180 mg/dL
  • 2 hour: greater than 153 mg/dL

If only one of your blood glucose results in the oral glucose tolerance test is higher than normal, your provider may simply suggest you change some of the foods you eat. Then, your provider may test you again after you have changed your diet.

If more than one of your blood glucose results is higher than normal, you have gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes And Pregnancy

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Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Some women have more than one pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the middle of pregnancy. Doctors most often test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.

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Problems Of Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy

Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a woman with gestational diabetes can lead to problems for the pregnant woman and the baby:

An Extra Large Baby

Diabetes that is not well controlled causes the babys blood sugar to be high. The baby is overfed and grows extra large. Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby. The mother might need a C-Section to deliver the baby. The baby can be born with nerve damage due to pressure on the shoulder during delivery.


A C-section is an operation to deliver the baby through the mothers belly. A woman who has diabetes that is not well controlled has a higher chance of needing a C-section to deliver the baby. When the baby is delivered by a C-section, it takes longer for the woman to recover from childbirth.

High Blood Pressure

When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and often swelling in fingers and toes that doesnt go away, she might have preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by her doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. It might lead to the baby being born early and also could cause seizures or a stroke in the woman during labor and delivery. Women with diabetes have high blood pressure more often than women without diabetes.

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Low Blood Sugar

Monitoring Your Blood Glucose Levels

Your medical team will give you a target range for your blood glucose levels. You will need to check these at home while you are pregnant.

You can purchase a blood glucose measuring kit from your local pharmacy or diabetes centre, or from Diabetes Australia in your state or territory call 1800 637 700 for help.

To test your blood glucose levels, you prick your finger with a lancet and put a small drop of blood onto a testing strip. Then you insert the strip into a meter, which reads your blood glucose level.

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How Do I Pass My 1 Hour Glucose Test

  • Make sure your meal contains no carbohydrates before this test.
  • Drink all 59 gram glucola in the right amounts after eating for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You should be at the office 30 minutes after drinking the cola
  • Ensure the receptionist is informed of what time you ended the consumption of the cola by checking in at your fron desk.
  • Why Its Important To Test For Gestational Diabetes


    Gestational diabetes can lead to serious complications however, it rarely has any symptoms. This is why we test everyone around 24-28 weeks gestation.

    Every year, up to 10% of women who are pregnant develop gestational diabetes, which puts their health and their babys health at risk if it goes untreated. Nearly half of the women with gestational diabetes go on to develop Type 2 diabetes at some time in their life. Their babies are also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life and to have obesity as children, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    But there is good news! Gestational diabetes can be managed and even reversed if it is detected and treated early on.

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    What Are The Complications Of Untreated Gestational Diabetes

    • shoulder dystocia, which occurs when the babys shoulders to get stuck in the birth canal during delivery
    • slightly higher rates of fetal and neonatal death

    Untreated gestational diabetes can also result in the baby having a high birth weight. This is called macrosomia. Macrosomia may result in shoulder damage during birth and can require a cesarean delivery. Babies with macrosomia have a higher likelihood of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    Dont Worry About What You Can Do To Pass Your Glucose Screening

    The internet is full of people asking how to pass the glucose screening. I get it, its a pain the butt, especially if you fail by a measly few points and you have to take the 3 hour. Plenty of people say things like, just dont eat anything the day of or take a walk before it or the worst: opt out of it.

    My advice? Dont change anything. gestational diabetes

    Simply put, this is one test that you do not want to cheat on. And the reality is that if you have it you wont be able to hide it anyway so dont even worry about it.

    Remind yourself that if somehow it did go undiagnosed it puts your babies at risk of complications like macrosomia, hypoglycemia, preterm labor, and respiratory issues.

    Drink the drink, get the stick, and hope for the best! But in the event that you fail as I did

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