Gain The Right Amount Of Weight
Gaining too much or too quickly during pregnancy can increase the chances for GD, so talk to your doctor about what you should be seeing on the scale. In general, you should aim to gain 25 to 35 pounds if your pre-pregnancy body mass index was in the normal range, 15 to 25 pounds if you were overweight before becoming pregnant, and 11 to 20 pounds if you were obese before coming pregnant.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Also Called The Gestational Diabetes Test Glucose Screening Is Crucial To Detecting This Often
Kimberly Zapata is the Associate Editor at Parents. Her parenting, health, and wellness work has been published on numerous websites, including Health, Healthline, Parade, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Oprah, The Mighty, Mic, and Vice. She is also the founder and creator of Greater Than: Illness, an organization dedicated to empowering teens and young adults struggling with mental illness. And when she is not writingor workingshe is caring for her two children, aged 8 and 3.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which your body has too much sugar in the blood. Seven out of every 100 pregnant people will develop it, according to , and this can lead to problemsfor both the expectant parent and baby. Gestational diabetes can cause problems with fetal growth, as well as increase the risk for C-section and high-risk conditions like preeclampsia.
Luckily, glucose screening and glucose tolerance testing can help you detect gestational diabetes early, and it gives you a chance to minimize the risks of this condition. Find out everything you need to know about glucose screening tests, from what they are to when they’re administered.
When Is The Glucose Screening Test Taken During Pregnancy
You typically get a glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. However, your provider may want you to be screened earlier than 24 weeks if a routine urine test shows a high level of sugar in your urine or if you’re considered high risk. If the results are normal, you’ll be screened again at 24 to 28 weeks.
Of course, if you were diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy, you won’t need to be screened. Instead, you’ll continue to work with your provider to manage your condition during pregnancy.
Read Also: What Does It Mean When You Have High Glucose
How Do I Prepare For My 1 Hour Glucose Test
You shouldnt make any drastic changes to prepare for the 1 hour glucose test.
In fact, its best that you follow your normal diet because its important to get an accurate representation of how your body handles sugar on a day to day basis.
Otherwise, try and get a good nights sleep the week before the test.
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What If The Glucose Test Is Positive
If the glucose screening test and the tolerance test are both positive, you may be prescribed an anti-hyperglycemic medication to help control your blood sugar. Insulin injections are also common in treating gestational diabetes. It is important to monitor your blood sugar throughout your pregnancy. You’ll do this by pricking your finger with a tiny needle first thing in the morning and an hour or two after meals to test your glucose levels. Although this may be slightly uncomfortable, remember that you are doing it for your health and for the health of your baby.
When managing your blood sugar levels during pregnancy, it is important to know which symptoms may indicate high blood sugar. Call the doctor if you experience any of the following:
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That Glucose Test Drink
- It can affect their digestive system leading to nausea, vomiting, bloating and diarrhea.
- Other adverse reactions include headaches, dizziness and fatigue.
Mothers-to-be are always encouraged to eat and drink in as safe a way as possible for their babies’ well beingsmoking
Education About Insulin Commencement
It is very important that you get information and support from your diabetes educator or doctor on how insulin works, how to give insulin and how to store it.
Insulin sometimes causes blood glucose levels to go too low , so it is very important that you learn the signs and symptoms of this and how to prevent and treat it .
Also Check: Altai Balance Blood Sugar Support
How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed
Most women are diagnosed using a pathology test, which requires blood samples to be taken before and after a glucose drink. This is known as a pregnancy oral glucose tolerance test . This test is usually performed between 24 and 28 weeks into the pregnancy, or earlier if you are at high risk.
A pregnancy oral glucose tolerance test involves:
- fasting overnight
- having a blood test in the morning
- having a drink containing 75 grams of glucose
- having a blood test one hour after having the drink
- having a blood test 2 hours after having the drink.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed if any of the results from the test show that your blood glucose is raised.
During COVID-19, further diagnostic guidelines have been added as alternatives to the OGTT where this cannot be performed due to a contagion risk. Check with your doctor or hospital about current guidelines.
What If I Have Gestational Diabetes
GD is increasingly common, with about 7% of women having the condition. If you are found to have GD, you will work closely with your health care provider to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy range. This involves choosing a healthy diet, gaining the recommended weight during your pregnancy, getting exercise, and if needed, taking insulin or pills to lower your blood sugar. Your babys wellbeing will be carefully monitored by regular measurements of growth and amniotic fluid volume. If you have GD you will be offered a repeat glucose tolerance test between 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum to detect prediabetes and diabetes. You may also be offered induction between 38-40 weeks of pregnancy. Finally, it is strongly recommended that women with GD breastfeed their infants.
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Is The Glucose Test During Pregnancy Optional
Doctors recommend having a glucose test for gestational diabetes, but it’s not mandatory. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice.
Its an appointment on the calendar most pregnant women dread: the glucose test , usually scheduled around week 26 to week 28 of pregnancy. Youve no doubt seen many Instagram or Facebook pics posted by women tasked with drinking the super-sweet, typically orange liquid to gauge their bodys ability to handle glucose.
This test is one of the ways to screen for gestational diabetes, a temporary form of diabetes that occurs only in pregnancy and typically resolves after delivery.
The mama-to-be drinks the juice, hangs out for an hour in the waiting room, and then has blood taken to measure her glucose levels. Your care provider may also specify a time constraint, like drinking the whole bottle in three to five minutes.
A reading higher than 7.7 millimoles/L on the gestational diabetes chart calls for further follow-up testing, often called the glucose tolerance test. A reading higher than 11.1 millimoles/L likely means a gestational diabetes diagnosis.
The night before my third visit to the lab, my husband asked me what would happen if I just skipped the test. I didnt knowI assumed it was mandatory.
If you selected a midwife as your care provider instead of an OB/GYN, whether or not youre going to take the glucose test to begin with may be presented as a question, instead of as an assumption or recommendation.
What Is A Prenatal Glucose Screening
Glucose screening checks for gestational diabetes, a short-term form of diabetes that some women develop during pregnancy. It’s becoming more common in the United States, affecting about 6% to 7% of pregnancies.
The test is usually done at 24 to 28 weeks, but sometimes earlier if a woman is at higher risk for gestational diabetes.
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How Do You Prepare And What Can You Eat Before The Glucose Tests
In preparation for either of the glucose tests, you can continue to eat normally in the days leading up to the test. Thereâs no specific prep you need to do or any reason for you to change your pregnancy. However, the glucose tolerance test does require you to fast beforehand. If youâre taking any medications, let your healthcare provider know in advance as some medications may affect test results.
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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How Is A Glucose Challenge Test Perform
The glucose challenge test for pregnant women is a simple test that is done in a short period. Before the test, there are steps you should take. First, your doctor may ask you to only drink water throughout the day. Your doctor may also want you to stop eating and drinking the night before the test. If there are causes of the glucose challenge test in pregnant women, your doctor would determine new rulings based on the causes.Conducting the glucose challenge test is like a blood test. The nurse takes a blood sample from your upper arm. Then the nurse wants you to drink a special glucose solution. Afterward, in several hours, blood samples are taken to measure the glucose levels in your body .Normally, the results of the glucose challenge test should be 95 mg/dl or less before a meal, 140 mg/dl or less one hour after a meal, and 120 mg/dl or less two hours after a meal.If the result of the glucose challenge test for pregnant women is higher than 140 mg/dL, that can mean that you have gestational diabetes. In case of a possibility of gestational diabetes, your doctor would want another test to be sure of the diagnosis
What Can You Do If Youre At Risk For Gestational Diabetes
If youre at risk for gestational diabetes, there are a few things you can do to help lower your chances of developing the condition:
-Get regular exercise. Exercise can help your body use insulin more effectively.
-Eat a healthy diet. Eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help your body control blood sugar levels.
-Maintain a healthy weight. If youre overweight, losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help lower your risk of gestational diabetes.
It is important to consider these things even before pregnancy, so Im glad youre thinking about it.
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What Does The Glucose Tolerance Test Mean For Me After Baby
Most often all the issues with blood sugar go away after the baby is born.
Many hospitals will check your blood sugar the next day or so to see how it is doing, but likely you will be able to eat whatever you want.
However, it does show that you are an increased risk of diabetes later in life, so consider making sure that you diet balances carbs and proteins, and make sure youre exercising to mitigate that risk.
The reality is that much of this is genetic and we cant change that so changing what you can change is best.
So, hopefully that gave you some ideas about this test. If youre interested in more information about your pregnancy and how to manage it successfully Id love to help you out in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. Youre at the PERFECT SPOT to take it. Its offered on demand, and only takes a few hours.
And, if youre not quite sure youre ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. Its your first step toward becoming your own birth boss.
- About the Author
Prep Before The Glucose Tolerance Test
If your provider has scheduled a glucose tolerance test during your pregnancy, you will be given fasting instructions. This means you probably wonât be able to eat or drink anything except for small sips of water for about 8 to 14 hours before the test.You may find it convenient to schedule a morning appointment for the glucose tolerance test so that you can fast overnight. You will need to stay at the lab or clinic for the full procedure, so you might consider bringing something to read or do or having your phone fully charged so that you can occupy yourself during that time.
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Top Suggestions For One Hour Glucose Test Normal Range
normal glucose test results chart quote. Proinsulin is the precursor molecule for insulin and is found in the rough endoplasmic reticulum of the beta cells in the pancreatic islets. As shown in Figure 79-2, the proteolytic conversion of proinsulin results in the formation of equimo-lar amounts of insulin and its connecting peptide, C peptide.
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Risks And Side Effects
Most people do not experience any side effects from glucose testing, and serious complications are rare.
As it involves fasting and blood testing, the glucose tolerance test might cause nausea, light-headedness, shortness of breath, and sweating in some people.
The doctor uses a needle to draw the blood, so the injection may cause moderate pain for some.
More serious but less common risks include:
- excessive bleeding
The glucose tolerance test is not the only way to diagnose diabetes. Doctors use other tests to diagnose and monitor the condition.
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About Diabetes In Pregnancy
Whenever we eat, a hormone called insulin helps move the sugar from our food through our blood and into our muscles, where it is turned into energy to help us move.
When you are pregnant, your body produces lots of other hormones to help your baby grow. Some of these hormones can stop insulin working well. This causes sugar to build up in your blood because it cant get to your muscles. You have diabetes when you have too much sugar in your blood.
Pregnancy diabetes generally goes away after your baby is born, though it leaves you with more chance of developing diabetes again later in life.
How Do You Manage Gestational Diabetes
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important that you are supported and know what to do to manage it. Health professionals such as your doctor, a dietitian, a diabetes nurse educator, or sometimes, a diabetes specialist will help you understand what to do and will support you.
Family also can be a great support. It is important that your family understands gestational diabetes and how it is managed.
Management of gestational diabetes aims to keep blood glucose levels in the recommended range during pregnancy. This can prevent problems during birth and also helps reduce the babys risk of being overweight in childhood and developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Management of gestational diabetes involves:
- monitoring blood glucose levels
- healthy eating. Referral to a dietitian is an important part of management. Often this will be organised for you via your health care team
- regular physical activity
Some women may need insulin injections to help manage their gestational diabetes.
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How Is The Glucose Screening Test Done Do I Have To Fast
No, you don’t have to fast for the screening test. You can eat and drink that day as you normally would.
Here’s what to expect during and after the test:
- A sweet drink: When you arrive for the test, you’ll drink a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. The stuff tastes like a very sweet soda pop , and you have to get all of it down in five minutes. Some providers keep it chilled or let you pour it over ice and drink it cold.
- A blood draw: An hour later, a blood sample is taken to check your blood sugar level. The result indicates how efficiently your body processes sugar.
- Results: These should be available in a few days. If the reading is too high, which happens an estimated 15 to 23 percent of the time, you’ll be asked to return for a three-hour glucose tolerance test to see whether you have gestational diabetes. The good news is that most women whose screening test shows elevated blood sugar don’t turn out to have gestational diabetes.