It May Not Be As Bad As You Expect

Most pregnant moms “get” to take a glucose tolerance test in the third trimester to test for gestational diabetes. You may have heard horror stories about the test -- but it really isn't all that bad!

Pregnant woman with doctor

Gestational diabetes is generally routinely tested for near the beginning of the third trimester. The first test you take is a screening test, which won’t be a diagnosis -- it will simply lead to a more-involved test that will tell you if you do indeed have gestational diabetes, which affects between 2 and 5 percent of pregnant moms.

The sugary drink

Your day begins with no breakfast, as the test must be run while you are fasting. The sugary drink itself has become legend and you may have heard how horrid it tastes from your best friend. Your practitioner will offer you a solution that contains around 50 grams of glucose. She may offer you a variety of flavors, from cola to orange to grape to lemon lime. I always chose the orange drink, which I felt was likely to be the yummiest option.

I never found it to be too awful, and a lot of moms I spoke with agree. It tastes like super sweet soda pop but the portion is small and goes down easily. It can be hard on an empty tummy but for me the worst part was waiting an hour for my body to process the glucose. Make sure you bring a smartphone, magazine or book to bide your time.

All's well that ends well

The test ends with a finger prick and a glucose reading. If the reading is too high, which happens in 15 to 20 percent of moms, you will qualify for a three-hour glucose test that will tell you if you do indeed have gestational diabetes. That specific test is a little more intense as it involves even more sugary drinks, a longer wait and more blood tests, but the one time I had to do it, it wasn’t terrible at all.

So take heart, mama. No matter what stories of horror your pals have told you, the sugary drink really isn't all that bad, and it will help your doctor identify if you need further testing.

More on gestational diabetes

Nutritional and managing gestational diabetes
Facts about gestational diabetes
Physical activity may reduce risk of gestational diabetes

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