Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Female doctor checking blood sugar of a pregnant woman

The screening test for diabetes is safe and simple. Samples of your blood are taken one hour after you drink a sugar solution. The glucose level is measured. A high level suggests that there may be a problem with glucose control. If you have a high level of glucose, you will receive a second diagnostic test which takes three hours. This test will detect gestational or pregnancy-related diabetes.  

Most women with gestational diabetes can control their blood sugar levels with diet modification, but some women will require insulin injections. If you become an insulin-requiring diabetic, more testing is done to check the baby’s well-being in the 3rd trimester. Your ob-gyn will also move to deliver on or before your due date. Complications arise in gestational diabetics because these women are 25% more likely to develop pre-eclampsia and have large babies.  

For the first few hours after birth, babies of diabetic moms sometimes have increased difficulty maintaining their own blood sugar levels, as well as calcium and magnesium levels, so they are watched more closely by the nursery team after delivery.

Preparation for the diabetes screening test:

  • One-hour screening test: No need to fast but avoid eating sweets directly before taking the test
  • Three-hour diagnostic test: This is a FASTING test. You must not consume food nor drink 8 hours prior to the test.

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