Gestational Diabetes FAQ

What is Gestational Diabetes?

  Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies.We don’t know what causes gestational diabetes, but there are some clues. Hormones from your baby’s placenta help your baby to develop and grow. But these same hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This sometimes creates a problem called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means the mother’s body is having a hard time…

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I know I’m healthy, why do I need to be tested for Gestational Diabetes?

People often appear healthy when in fact they have an undetected condition, or are at risk. And diabetes is definitely an example of this. The percentage of people discovering they have diabetes while being checked for something else is quite high.My husband’s paternal grandmother went to the hospital due to an injury, and in the course of routine blood work they discovered she had diabetes. They asked her, “What are you taking to control your diabetes?” She replied, “I don’t…

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Can I refuse to be tested for gestational diabetes?

  Yes, you can refuse glucose testing. You can also refuse to monitor your blood sugar at home if we asked you to do so. You always have the right to refuse your health care providers advice. At CCBC we will never force you to do anything against your will. Being able to say “no” is an important part of informed consent. However, we want you to keep something else in mind any time you make an informed decision against…

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How does CCBC determine whether or not I am risk for gestational diabetes?

  There are certain “risk factors” we take into consideration for diabetes and gestational diabetes. Just because you have one or more of these “risk factors” does not mean you automatically have diabetes. But the more risk factors you have does increase your chances of having blood sugar problems of some kind. Risk factors are based on statistical data that has shown certain people are at higher risk statistically speaking. So, if have any of these “risk factors,” we will…

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How does CCBC determine whether or not I have gestational diabetes?

  At CCBC we use a 75g 2 hour Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (hereafter, OGTT) to determine if a client has gestational diabetes. The OGTT requires you to do several things: Prepare for the test with 3 days of an unrestricted diet which includes high carbs. This will help to eliminate any false positive results that we might get if someone who otherwise eats a low carb diet were to take the test. You will need to schedule an early…

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Why does CCBC use a different test than most obstetricians?

  If you have had glucose screening previous pregnancies, or if you talk to other women about the glucose screening they have done, or if you just do a search on the Internet, you will discover that not all health care providers use the same protocols. Many practices, especially obstetricians, choose to use the American Academy of Obstetrics and Geoncolgy’s (ACOG) protocols which use different sugar loads and a different timing. ACOG recommends that women first do a 1 hour…

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What changes do I need to make if I have gestational diabetes?

  Short answer, perhaps nothing. Our first step will be to evaluate you to see if you need to change anything at all. Some women are already eating healthy and exercising regularly, so they don’t need to change anything. (If this seems confusing or contradictory to you, please refer back to my “What is Gestational Diabetes?” FAQ.)But we will start with an honest evaluation. Most women with gestational diabetes do discover that they need to make some diet and exercise…

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Can I still have a home birth or birth center birth if I have gestational diabetes?

  Yes, most likely. As long as you are able to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise, and as long as you do not develop any other signs of concern during your pregnancy, we would expect you to have a normal, healthy, out-of-hospital delivery with no further complications. But to assure this ideal outcome, we will continue to monitor you and your baby very closely. Our goal is for you to remain low risk. If at any point…

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What will be different about my care if I am diagnosed with gestational diabetes?

  The biggest difference will be that you will be receiving additional counsel about diet and blood sugar monitoring (which you will do at home). Your midwife will also want to keep track of your food logs and review your reports about your daily blood sugar readings. So, you will be asked to come in for at least one additional visit that is focused on nutritional counseling and blood sugar monitoring.It is important to remember that it can make a…

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