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Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

Gestational Diabetes Testing

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boigrrrlwonder
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Gestational Diabetes Testing

I'm pretty on the fence about this one. Did you or are you doing this test? On one hand, I have a family history of Type II diabetes. My first child was 9lbs and maybe half an oz (which some practitioners consider large enough to be a risk factor for GD and some don't - I certainly don't consider that to be an overly large baby).

At the same time, during this pregnancy I haven't gained a bunch of weight. I'm actually slightly under my prepregnancy weight still due to weight loss due to morning sickness. I haven't had sugar spill into my urine. I don't eat perfectly, but I do eat healthily and regularly get exercise. I've never had a high blood sugar test. I'm under 25 years old.

Mostly, I think it's not great for a pregnant person to fast at all. And then I think it's particularly not great for a pregnant person to fast and then consume that much sugar. If the GD I had was mild enough to be controlled by lifestyle changes, I'm already mostly living that. It would risk me out of a homebirth and set me up for a cascade of other interventions. I've also birthed an "overly large" baby before with no complications either during the birth or for her after the birth, making me wonder if the standards for normal are too strict. I worry about the validity of the standards they use for the testing - the sugar levels they consider acceptable are lower than if I were a non-pregnant person trying to learn if I was diabetic even though it's known that pregnant people metabolize sugar less efficiently due to hormones.

So, I'm not sure what I want to do. I'd love to hear what you mamas think about the test and what their choices were.

MamaCaboose
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

Just a note - I've never heard of them asking you to fast before taking the gestational diabetes test (I certainly didn't). I'm not sure where you got the fasting idea from. Also, not every practitioner has you drink the weird orange glucose drink either - my friend's midwife just had her eat a big waffle breakfast with maple syrup the morning of the screening. You might ask your practitioner about that possibility if you're more comfortable with it.

I chose to take it, though I think I had few more risk factors than you do (it came out negative, btw). I am someone who tends to like having more information whenever possible, though, and I also have seen untreated (non-gestational) diabetes cause some pretty major problems.

My understanding, too, is that having gestational diabetes doesn't necessarily preclude a homebirth. I would say if you are concerned about the standards they use to judge it by, ask about them. My impression is that the initial test they do is just a screening test to see if you are at risk - so erring to the side of a false positive makes sense. If it comes out positive, they perform further tests from there to get a diagnosis (and usually the diagnosis is that you're fine).

Have you talked to your practitioner about your questions and concerns? Was her/his response useful?

acrane86
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

You don't have to fast for the 1 hour GD test....but you do have to fast for the 3 hour one.

Personally, I opted for the test. GD is not all about having a "big baby". The babies are big, but their internal organs do run the risk of being under-developed. They have issues controlling their own blood sugars at birth. Due to their size, they can get caught in the birth canal at birth, and injure their shoulders. GD can also cause respiratory issues, and difficulty breathing. If un-treated GD can lead to still-birth. I would rather have the inconvieniance of the test, and be able to prevent all these possibilities, than not test, and put my baby at risk for one of these complications.

I failed the one hour, myself, but passed the other one. It was a pain in the butt, but now I have one less thing to worry about (i worry alot!)

xoAxWESOxo
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

I took the 1 hr test and passed, then I had a 9lb 1.8oz baby &they monitored his blood sugars for a few hrs after birth. They said any baby over 9 lbs they worry about, but K was totally fine. I didn't really like the test, I got extremely dizzy and weak like I was going to pass out but I guess the test was good to reassure me that my sugars were fine. I'm obviously undecided about whether I liked taking the test or not so I'm not sure how much this helps lol.

Danielle04o7
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

the test i did with blake was i had to eat a certain meal and then my midwife drew my blood, no gross orange drink, and i passed the test.

chatdelheure
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

This article is written by the obstetrician Michel Odent...this is the only place I can seem to find it! He makes some interesting points.

http://rixarixa.blogspot.com/2008/01/michel-odent-on-gd.html

If I were you, I wouldn't do it.

chatdelheure
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

Here's another study for you:

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/amjepid;152/11/1009

"No related temporal trends for fetal macrosomia, cesarean delivery, or other diabetes-related complications were observed, regardless of screening policy. The authors concluded that the substantial increase in gestational diabetes in Canada is an artifact caused by universal screening, with no evidence of beneficial effects on pregnancy outcomes."

Hope that helps!

MamaButterfly
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Re: Gestational Diabetes Testing

Wow! Thanks for posting that.