Gestational Diabetes (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Experts debate whether all pregnant women need to be tested for gestational diabetes. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has found insufficient evidence to recommend screening women with no risk factors for gestational diabetes.3 But most doctors routinely test all pregnant women who are in their care. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all women who are not already diagnosed with diabetes be tested for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy using the oral glucose tolerance test.1
Tests during pregnancy
If you have gestational diabetes, your doctor will check your blood pressure at every visit. You will also have certain tests throughout your pregnancy to check your and your baby's health. These tests include:
Some doctors may recommend you have a hemoglobin A1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) or a similar test every month during your pregnancy. The A1c test estimates your average blood sugar level over the previous weeks to months.
Tests during labor and delivery
During labor and delivery, you and your baby will be monitored very closely.
Tests after delivery
After your baby is born, your blood sugar level will be checked several times. Your baby's blood sugar level will also be checked several times within the first few hours after birth.
Even though your gestational diabetes will probably go away after your baby is born, you are at risk for gestational diabetes again and for type 2 diabetes later in life. Up to 60 out of 100 women who develop gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later in life.2
You will have a follow-up glucose tolerance test 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breast-feeding your baby. If the results of this test are normal, you will still need to be tested for type 2 diabetes at least every 3 years. Even if your sugar level is normal, you are at increased risk of developing diabetes in the future. Eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise can help prevent type 2 diabetes.
If you want to get pregnant again, you should be tested for diabetes both before you become pregnant and early in your pregnancy.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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