Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes

Around your seventh month of pregnancy, you will take a blood glucose test. You may have heard a great deal about the special drink—specifically, that it will make you sick—but for most women, it’s not a big deal. It’s not yummy, it tastes like a flat soda, and it can cause some nausea; but if you drink it quickly, you should not have any problems.

An hour later, your blood will be drawn to check your glucose levels. Though fasting is not necessary for this test, avoid starchy and sugary foods, as they can throw off the results. If your blood test comes back negative, you likely will not have to worry about gestational diabetes again. If your levels are considered high, you will be given another lengthier test that will require fasting to determine whether or not you have gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes affects around 18% of pregnant women. A diagnosis does not mean you had diabetes prior to your pregnancy, or that you will suffer from diabetes after you give birth. It just means that, for whatever reason, the very same hormones that help provide your baby’s nutrients have made you temporarily insulin-resistant.

That does not mean, however, that gestational diabetes is something to be taken lightly. What can that mean for your unborn child? Your increased levels of glucose will pass through the placenta to your baby, causing your baby’s pancreas to also work overtime. After birth, your baby will have too much insulin, making it likely he or she will suddenly have too little blood glucose. And, of course, there are risks for delivery. With all the excess glucose while in the womb, the baby is at risk for macrosomia, or “fat baby.” Large babies are harder to deliver, and they may face trauma to their shoulders or may have to be delivered cesarean, according to the American Diabetes Association.

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, do not assume you will have to face the above consequences. With proper treatment, gestational diabetes can be controlled, and you can enjoy a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Once diagnosed, treatment should start right away. It will definitely involve a special diet and planned physical activity. It may also involve frequent blood tests and insulin injections, according to the American Diabetes Association. This can be a burden when you’re craving sweets, or you’re so tired you barely have the energy to get through the day, let alone exercise; but it will greatly improve your health, as well as your baby’s. And remember that, as always, you will have the support and encouragement of your medical team.

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Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes

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10 comments

  1. Kitty says:

    Had gestational diabetes with my last one, haven’t been tested yet with my current, though I’m told its more likely after being diagnosed for a previous pregnancy. My wonder food was Green Chili (Green chile, onion, garlic, tomatoes, meat). I’ve always loved a bowl of chili now and then, once i discovered it didn’t spike my sugar, we made a pot of it twice a week ^_^ ! Plain or with a little bit of cheese and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream). and I could eat two bowls (or however much my child would let me fit in at 8 months) with no high readings.

  2. joyce says:

    My Doctor is scheduling the test at my 26th week appointment which is 3 weeks away. I am nervous and hope that I don’t have any problems. I have not had it for the other 5 pregnancies but everyone has had their own unique problems. Just praying because my baby is already a little bigger than usual.

  3. Momo says:

    I am at a shock by this …. I am 32 weeks 5 days with my 6th child and they are saying one of my test I had the 2 hour test so they drew my blood 3 times, only one was high. I NEVER had this with the other 5 and I think they should do another test. They are signing me up for a nutritionist and group with other moms who are diagnosed! I think its a waste without a second test to confirm… they don’t even check my levels at my appointments? I just think its weird!

  4. mom2be/3rd says:

    I am 32wks & received a call last Tuesday from the lab from doctors for results of blood test which is positive for gestational diabetes, I am worried because I didn’t experience this with my other 2 babies on top of no knowledge about topic. I’m a little eased by looking info. Up but unsure of my little girls weight Last I knew from ultrasound on June 26th she weighed 2lbs 11oz & had rolls of fat on her thighs… I can’t Wait to get through the next dr. appointments & see how my babys doing.

  5. aznheart408 says:

    I have gestational diabetes and currently at 35 weeks and 4 day. My son is currently underweight because of the diet that I have to go by. Just because you have gestational diabetes doesnt mean you child will large. Mine is small at 2 lbs underweight. You could only eat certain amount of food. At certain amount of times.

  6. Tina says:

    I hope I don’t have this..I have a few more apts. before I get tested. I just thought it would be nice to read up on.

  7. Virnen says:

    trying to diet for a month now because of my gestational diabetes, so far im doing good & maintain my blood sugar, checked it 3 times a day.

  8. smooty54 says:

    I was told a little over a month ago that i was at high risk, so ive been trying to do a better eating and health wise since then, so I hope that when i do have my glucose test at my next appt that the results will be negative gestational diabetes.

  9. PrettyBoogs says:

    I am really hoping to be free of this. I cannot keep my WONDERFUL midwife if i become high risk

  10. one more month and ill be tested

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