Gestational Diabetes Risk Factors
Has your weight increased more than you or your doctor think you should have during this pregnancy? Were you overweight before you became pregnant? Are you an older mom-to-be, over the age of 30? If you have delivered other children, did any of them weight more than 9 pounds? Have you ever had a stillborn child or a miscarriage? Do you have any immediate family members with diabetes? All of these are risk factors in developing the disease known as gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is not the same as Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, as it goes away whenever you have your baby. However, once you have had gestational diabetes, you have a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Studies have been done to try and determine whether or not obesity plays a role in whether or not these women develop the disease when they get older, but the results so far have been inconclusive. It is known that 40 percent of all women who have a history of developing this type of diabetes during pregnancy do go on to suffer with Type 2 diabetes in the future.
Gestational Diabetes Screening
Your doctor will perform a glucose screening if he has any reason to suspect that you may have a problem with gestational diabetes while pregnant. The screening is done anywhere from the 24th to the 28th week of your pregnancy. This test is relatively simple. You must have a blood sample drawn, and drink a solution of flavored sugar and water.
Once you have downed this solution, you must wait for about an hour. When the hour is up, the nurse or lab technician will call you back and collect the blood sample. What’s the reason that you have to wait an hour before this test? You have to give the sugar solution time to make its way into your bloodstream so that the test can be accurate.
It will take up to three days for your diabetes test results to come back. But, the chances are good that you will be fine. Only a small number of women – 2 to 7 percent – will develop gestational diabetes. Doctors are so vigilant about testing for it because of the harm it can do to your unborn child. Your child’s health and your own can be severely affected by gestational diabetes so make sure you are tested for it.