A couple weeks after my first midwife appointment I was booked in for a glucose test and 2nd appointment with my midwife due to having a higher BMI.
The glucose test is performed in pregnancy when your BMI is higher than 30 or later on in pregnancy if gestational diabetes is suspected. Gestational diabetes is usually a temporary condition which effects some women throughout their pregnancy. Most women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes develop the condition in the later stages of pregnancy within the 3rd trimester, although it can manifest at any time. Overweight women or women where diabetes runs in the family, may have the condition from very early on.
Gestational Diabetes, like type 1 and 2 diabetes is when you have high blood sugar due to problems with insulin production, but is caused by the pregnancy and needs to be managed carefully through diet and sometime medication. It can be very serious for you and your baby if it isn’t caught early and regulated. Gestational diabetes will normally go after birth, but if you have it, you would need to be tested 6-13 weeks after birth to ensure that your blood sugars are back to normal.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
- increased thirst
- needing to pee more often than usual
- a dry mouth
Preparing for the Glucose Test
At my previous appointment I was given a pouch of a sugary drink plus instructions for what do prior to the glucose test.
- I had to stop eating and drinking anything but water, 12 hours prior to the test,
- I then had to ensure that I drank the sugary drink 2 hours before my appointment.
I am not going to lie, it didn’t taste nice, especially first thing and should imagine it may aggravate morning sickness if you are suffering. I have been luck enough to have no morning sickness, but this was the first time I felt a bit queasy. A little tip - keep the glucose drink in the fridge until you are ready as it makes it taste marginally better and slightly easier to consume.
My 2nd Midwife Appointment
I headed off to the doctors for my test. I was greeted by my midwife and taken in promptly to do the glucose test within the 2 hour window. For the first time, my midwife asked me how I had been feeling, which was nice as at my first appointment, I think they were running behind and there didn’t seem much time for general questions and chat. I had been lucky in terms of sickness, so far, but had not escaped the inevitable tiredness you feel in the early weeks and on top of that within 2 weeks of getting my positive, hormones, anxiety and depression kicked in for me, (you can read more about this in my next blog).
Tracey was really nice about this and reassured me that all of this is normal, but that if I needed a referral to the GP for more support she could organise that but she couldn’t prescribe any medication for it. I had actually already booked a GP appointment, so I said that it would be fine for now.
The Glucose Test
Next was the glucose test, which comes in the form of a simple blood test. My midwife also took extra bloods at this point, which is routine for this stage in pregnancy to check for STIs, blood count, iron and blood group. It was over very quickly and I was told that I would be contacted within 5 working days if there was an issue, otherwise I would just get the results at the next appointment.
Next I was asked for my urine sample. “Urine sample? I haven’t done one, didn’t know I was supposed to?”
“Did I not give you a pot last time when I saw you?” Tracey replied
“No?” I said blankly and maybe a touch annoyed that I hadn’t been told.
She gave me a sample bag with a pot and said that I should give a sample ASAP into reception downstairs, it is to check that I don’t have any protein in my wee or an infection. There was no way I could do a sample at this moment, plus the pot was tiny and I would not get it in there! I opted to drop in on the way home.
Apparently you need to give a urine sample to test at almost every appointment. I was told, if in doubt do a wee!
Well I didn’t hear anything negative back within the week, I was a little concerned incase it had been missed due to my midwife being on holiday and someone covering. I finally got my results at my 3rd appointment, at week 17 after my 12 week scan, and all was good, which was a relief.