A quick note: I've been MIA. I'm actually pregnant with nugget number 2. A really rough first trimester brought my doula business (and blogging) to a screeching halt. But I have risen from the fog of constant nausea and vomiting! (Isn't pregnancy glamorous?)
I'm also about to take my glucose tolerance test, so I figured I would write a few quick thoughts about the test and how to prepare.
What is it and why do we do it?
The glucose tolerance test is administered to pregnant women to screen for gestational diabetes (GD). It's important to take the test because many women with GD have no symptoms or risk factors. If you do have GD, you want to know and control it as much as possible. GD left untreated can put your baby at risk for macrosomia (getting too big), shoulder dystocia (a traumatic birth), metabolic imbalance after birth (may require medical interventions such as blood tests, IV medications, assisted ventilation), stillbirth.
When and how is the test done?
Assuming you have no family history, and you have never had GD, the test will be administered by your doctor/midwife around 28 weeks.
The test itself is quite simple:
Ingest 50 grams of glucose in 10 minutes. You have a few options for how you do that (discuss with your doctor/midwife):16 ounces of Tropicana; or Glucola (provided by your physician); or 28 small jelly beans.
An hour later, your blood will be drawn. You will hear from your doctor/midwife about the results and next steps, if necessary.
How to prepare.
Eat a protein breakfast (avoid carbohydrates or sugars) the morning of the test. I go with 2 eggs and whole wheat toast. And maybe a handful of almonds if I'm extra hungry. Make sure you have a good snack to eat right after your blood is drawn to avoid feeling woozy.
That's a simple overview. If you have concerns, are at a higher risk for GD, or want to know more about the test, talk to your doctor/midwife. To learn more about the evidence for the glucose test, check out this page at Evidence Based Birth.