Between pregnancy week 24 and 32, your doctor might order a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) is surprisingly common and it occurs when the body doesn't produce sufficient insulin to digest sugar. This results in elevated blood sugar levels.

Are you at risk of gestational diabetes?

The following groups of women may need to undergo gestational diabetes testing if:

  1. You’re above 35 years
  2. Persistently have glucose in the urine
  3. Are obese
  4. Are on long-term steroids
  5. Have a family history of diabetes
  6. Have had diabetes during previous pregnancies
  7. Have a history of unexplained stillbirth or miscarriages
  8. Your baby is suspected to be larger than expected for its gestational age

How is gestational diabetes tested?

Testing for gestational diabetes entails drinking a sweet liquid after a night of fasting followed by blood tests which assess your sugar levels at various checkpoints.

If diagnosed, your doctor will discuss how to control your blood sugar levels (it doesn't always involve insulin injections) and also monitor the wellbeing of both you and your baby to minimise risk to both.

Food tip: Preventing gestational diabetes

Women with gestational diabetes should avoid excessively sweet foods. Examples include:

  1. Sugar
  2. Desserts
  3. Chocolate
  4. Sweet sauces e.g. ketchup

Good sugar control can often eliminate the need for insulin injections during pregnancy.​

Ref: M19