Complications – Gestational Diabetes

Between 26-28 weeks gestation, your doctor will ask you to take a screening test for diabetes in pregnancy. Many of the hormones produced by the placenta during pregnancy actually antagonize, or fight, the effects of insulin, which may cause a diabetic state. This results in abnormal sugar metabolism, which will usually resolve after delivery. However, women with gestational diabetes are more at risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus in the future.

The test requires that you consume a sugary drink provided by our office. One hour after consuming the beverage, your blood is drawn and the glucose (sugar) level is assessed. If your glucose level is elevated, you will then be asked to take a more definitive test called the three-hour glucose tolerance test. This requires consumption of another sugary beverage, but your blood is drawn prior to the drink; then one, two & three hours after consumption.

If the three-hour test is abnormal, you are given the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. It is important to control your blood sugar level during pregnancy. An out-of-control level can cause the baby to grow too big and the baby can have problems controlling his own blood sugar after delivery. Therefore, your doctor will recommend diabetic education and the implementation of a diabetic diet. You will be asked to check your blood sugar 2-4 times a day and report the values to your doctor on a regular basis. Most of the time, the disease can be kept under control by diet alone. Sometimes, however, medications may need to be instituted.

After delivery, you may go back on your usual non-pregnant diet. At your 6-week postpartum visit, your doctor will order a two-hour glucose test to make sure that you do not have any residual diabetes.