During your pregnancy, you can expect your obstetrician to monitor every aspect of your health and the health of your unborn baby closely. Along with monitoring your weight, your vital statistics, and your baby’s heart rate and movement, your doctor will also make sure that you are not suffering from gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes actually occurs in about nine percent of all pregnancies and is generally viewed as an urgent medical condition that requires frequent care and monitoring. You can expect to undergo a glucose pregnancy test as you approach the end of your second trimester. The test is easy, fast, and does not require that you take any special precautions before you go to the doctor.
In fact, most doctors give the test to women who are between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant. The test usually lasts around an hour and requires that you drink a sugary liquid prior to being seen by your doctor. Fortunately, the sugary liquid is often flavored with lemon-lime, orange, grape, or cherry flavoring so that it is more palatable. After you drink the liquid, you must then wait about 45 minutes to have your blood drawn and tested for gestational diabetes.
In most cases, you will be done with the test and ready to go home or be seen for your regular prenatal care in about an hour. You do not have to eat or drink anything special at home prior to coming to your appointment. In fact, most doctors recommend that you just adhere to your normal diet so that your blood work provides the most accurate results for your test. While drinking the liquid is not a pleasant experience for many expectant mothers, particularly those who have morning sickness or sensitive stomachs, this test is crucial in detecting a condition that could negatively affect your health or the health of your unborn baby.
Unlike other diabetic tests, a glucose pregnancy test does not require that you abstain from eating or drinking prior to your appointment. In fact, your physician will want you to maintain your regular diet so that you get the nutrition you and your unborn baby need each day. Even so, you may be advised to avoid eating or drinking too many sugary foods or beverages, especially considering that you will consume a significant amount of sugar during the test itself. If the sugary liquid that you drink at the doctor’s office is added to large amounts of soda, soda, or other sugar-filled foods that you consumed prior to your appointment, your test results may be inaccurate.
With that, you should eat a balanced diet on the day of your test, as well as every other day, that has plenty of lean proteins, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains in it. When you eat a balanced diet, your body will react as it should to the liquid that you must drink during the test. The results of your blood work will let your doctor know if you have gestational diabetes or if your body is capable of regulating its insulin levels on its own.
It is also important that you drink plenty of liquids each day while you are pregnant, let alone on the day that you take this test. When you are dehydrated, your insulin levels may rise to out of the ordinary levels. Drinking plenty of water or clear liquids helps your body regulate your insulin, liver, pancreas, and kidneys so that your blood work comes back with results that your doctor can interpret confidently and accurately.
Once your blood is drawn for the test, you must then await the results to come back in a few days’ time. Most doctors will call you if your results need further review or if you have insulin levels that need immediate treatment. You can know if you will need immediate treatment if your blood sugar levels are at 140 mg/dL or above. This number and any number higher than 140 indicates that your body may not be able to regulate its insulin levels and that you need to take additional insulin once or twice a day to avoid going into a diabetic coma.
However, if your levels are lower than 140, you can expect to be given a clean bill of health in regards to your blood work and allowed to continue on with your normal prenatal care. Some women who pass this test think that they have been inconvenienced or subjected to drinking the odious liquid for nothing. In fact, women who have undetected gestational diabetes often go on to have extremely large babies who themselves may have health problems at birth. When doctors know that you have this condition, they can regulate your blood sugar and monitor the health of your baby so that he or she avoids post-natal complications like apnea, low body temperature, and digestive problems.
With that, few tips exist that actually let you control whether or not you pass this glucose pregnancy test. It is vital that you eat a normal diet and that you rest, drink plenty of liquid, and comply fully with the test’s instructions. These steps will ensure that you pass the test without having to go through another round of blood work to check the first test’s results. You also will get any and all medical help that you need to ensure your health and the health of your unborn son or daughter.