What You Need to Know about Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes Testing
Should every pregnant woman be tested for gestational diabetes? The specialist in the field have yet to reach a consensus. The USPSTF (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force or Task Force) could not get enough proof to show that pregnant women should be screened when they have none of the risk factors for gestational diabetes. Regardless of the finding, many doctors screen every pregnant woman under their care. That every woman not already diagnosed with diabetes be screened for gestational diabetes from the 24th week to the 28th week of her pregnancy with the oral glucose tolerance test is the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association.
Tests during Pregnancy
If you suffer from gestational diabetes, your blood pressure will be checked by your doctor each time he visits. There will also be other tests to know the state of your health and that of your baby during the period of your pregnancy. The following are the tests:
Home blood sugar monitoring:
Every day, at home, you test your blood sugar to find out whether the levels of your blood sugar is inside a target range. It may be necessary to inject yourself with insulin to manage your blood sugar. To treat women with gestational diabetes, there are doctors who use pills such as metformin and glyburide.
By testing your fetus’ heartbeat when reacting to movement, this nonstress test can indicate the health of your fetus
This is a test used to estimate your baby’s age, health, and weight. The ultrasound test can also be used to measure the size of the head as well as the abdomen of your baby. Together with other information, the knowledge from this test can assist the doctor in his decisions on how you are cared for. So, if according to your doctor, your fetus’ size is too big for his gestational age and the levels of your blood sugar too high, he may want you to take insulin or diabetes pills. With insulin, your blood sugar may be kept within a target range and prevent your baby from becoming too large. However, you should know that fetal ultrasound may not give your fetus’ weight accurately or indicate whether other problems exist.
There are doctors who suggest you take a hemoglobin A1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) each month for the duration of your pregnancy. The A1c test gives an average of the levels of blood sugar for the past few consecutive months.
Screening for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: Challenges and Controversies – Video Guide
Tests while in labor and at delivery
You as well as your baby have to be checked and observed carefully at the time of labor and birth.
While in labor, fetal heart checking is done to find out the condition of your baby at that time.
Blood sugar tests are carried out often to ensure your level of blood sugar is in a target range.
Post-delivery tests are done a number of times to find out the level of your blood sugar. Post-delivery tests will also be for your baby’s level of blood sugar during the first two or three hours.
Your gestational diabetes may be no more after the delivery of your baby but the risk of getting it again during another pregnancy or having type 2 diabetes in later years is always present, as statistics reveal that approximately 60 percent of women who had gestational diabetes will get type 2 diabetes as they age.
You will be given a glucose tolerance test about two months after delivery of your baby or after the breast-feeding of your baby has stopped. Even if the results are normal, you still have to be checked for type 2 diabetes a minimum once in three years. Even though your present level of sugar is normal, you have added risk of getting diabetes in future. To avoid getting type 2 diabetes, consume balanced meals and exercise regularly.
If you plan to have a pregnancy, get yourself tested for diabetes before and during the early stage of your pregnancy.