What You Need to Know About Gestational Diabetes – Part 1 of 3

It’s national diabetes month! I love talking about gestational diabetes because I think it’s one of the most under diagnosed issues for women. If you are pregnant, ask your provider what your Hemoglobin A1C is. Your A1C measures the amount of sugar in your blood over a 3 month period of time.  It is very important that if you have diabetes, a diagnosis is made early and your blood sugars are being monitored and controlled.

    • There is a risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy if you are diabetic. The risk is greater if your blood sugars are not controlled. Certain risk factors predisposes you to diabetes, such as your weight, family history, and ethnicity.
    • Around 28 weeks of pregnancy, your provider will do a 1 hour glucose challenge test (GTT). You do not have to fast for the 1 hour GTT. If you do not pass this test, you will be asked to do a 3 hour GTT. You should be fasting for the 3 hour GTT, which means you should not eat or drink anything for 6-8 hours prior to the test. Talk to your provider about their specific recommendations.
    • If you do not pass your 3 hour GTT (2 or more numbers are elevated), you will have a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Once you have this diagnosis, you will have to check your blood sugars regularly.
      • Most providers will tell gestational diabetics to check their blood sugar 4 times a day:
        • Fasting – when you first wake up, before eating or drinking anything. (This number should be under 95)
        • 2 hours after the first bite of breakfast. (This number should be under 120)
        • 2 hours after the first bite of lunch. (This number should be under 120)
        • 2 hours after the first bite of dinner.  (This number should be under 120)
      • It is CRUCIAL that you check your blood sugar as instructed. This is the only way your provider will know if your blood sugars are well-controlled. If your blood sugars are not controlled, the consequences to you and your baby increase.
      • Keep a log of your blood sugars. If your blood sugars is high, write a note if you are sick, stressed out, or if you ate something that you believe affected the number. Illness and stress can raise your blood sugar.
    • If you’ve ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you are more likely to have gestational diabetes with subsequent pregnancies. You should also be having your A1C checked at least once a year after your pregnancy! I always tell my patients that diabetes is silent—you feel fine until you can’t see or have kidney issues. So if you’ve ever been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, every year talk to your provider about checking your A1C.

Until my next delivery ❤


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