- May 17, 2011
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Once you hit the magical 26-28 week of your pregnancy your midwife or OB will test you for gestational diabetes. Sometimes gestational diabetes will be present without any symptoms, so it is important to get this test completed.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It has nothing to do with your weight gain, current health level, or pre-pregnancy weight. It simply deals with your body’s ability to process sugars. Thanks to all those extra hormones, sometimes this is a problem. Hence gestational diabetes.
If you are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes, it’s not the end of the world. It is one of the most common problems to arise during pregnancy.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes your doctor will want you to alter your diet and exercise routines to help you deal with the problem. The goal here is to also keep you and your baby from gaining too much weight. If your baby gains too much weight it could up your chances of needing a c-section. It can also make your baby have a harder time regulating their blood sugars at birth.
If diet and exercise do not work your midwife or OB can assist you with certain medications as well. Here is how the test goes: You drink a solution lovingly called Glucola. This stuff tastes like an orange soda that has gone flat. Or a full sugar orange popsicle. They are not the best tasting things ever, but are for sure not the worst either. Once you finish your drink you shouldn’t have anything else to eat or drink. One hour later your blood is drawn and sent to a lab for analysis. If you pass the screening test, you go on your merry way. If you fail (and roughly 1/3 of all pregnant women do) you get to take a longer glucose test. The longer test has three drinks, three hours, and three blood draws.
Remember that the first test is just a screen and is used to identify women who might need more testing. Which means that the first test does occasionally give false positives. The three hour test is far more accurate. If you fail your first glucose screening test do not panic, you might still be okay. Some doctors recommend a special diet before taking your glucose tests, so make sure you check with them about any special instructions they may have. Follow them closely, you don’t want to have to repeat any tests, and if you can avoid it you don’t want to take the three hour glucose screen.
Be sure to pack, or at least plan to acquire food shortly after your blood draw. Some women do say they feel sick after drinking Glucola so don’t plan too many strenuous activities if you can avoid it.
Again, if you are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes, it’s not the end of the world. It is one of the most common problems to arise during pregnancy. It is generally easy to manage and most often disappears after you give birth. Right along with heartburn.