Tests during pregnancy:Blood GlucoseHow is the blood glucose test performed?
The majority of women will be checked for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. At the beginning of the glucose screening test, the mother is asked to consume a drink containing a known amount of glucose. An hour later, a blood specimen is collected. If the level of glucose is acceptable, then it is unlikely that she has gestational diabetes. If the level is moderately elevated, a longer, more conclusive glucose tolerance test (GTT) may be discussed. If the level is significantly elevated, the results are considered conclusive for gestational diabetes and a GTT may not be recommended.
About four percent of women with no prior history of diabetes will develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Although it can occur at any time, most cases will develop during the later part of a woman`s pregnancy. If increased blood sugar levels in the mother are not controlled, they can cause the baby to increase in size and weight. They can also cause the baby to be born with very low glucose levels and to have breathing difficulties. Diet control and/or insulin injections throughout the rest of the pregnancy may be required to bring glucose levels down to normal levels. In most cases, gestational diabetes will go away after delivery, but women who have gestational diabetes will be at an increased risk of having it again with subsequent children and of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
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- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Apply a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Apply pressure to the site and then a bandage.