In pregnancy, your placenta produces hormones that make your body less sensitive to insulin, which makes you more likely to have diabetes than non-pregnant people. Diabetes that happens in pregnancy is called “gestational diabetes.” The screening test for gestational diabetes is called a glucose challenge test (GCT), and we typically do this in our office between 24-26 weeks of your pregnancy.
How does the test work?
This point of the test is to challenge your body’s ability to produce insulin in response to the carbohydrates you eat. You’ll drink a sugary drink called that contains 50 grams of glucose. An hour later, after your body has had some time to produce insulin to counteract the sugar, we’ll draw your blood. Because this is just a screening test, if your results come back high, you’ll need to do a more in depth 3-hr version of the test to then determine if you have gestational diabetes.
Prior to your glucose test
- Pick up the glucose drink to take home at your week-16 visit, so you’ll have it ready to drink at home on the day of your test.
- Make sure that you schedule your GCT visit as an in-person visit at our office.
A few days prior
- You do not need to change your diet for the test, but eating lots of vegetables and whole grains, limiting high-fat protein, and drinking plenty of water may help.
- Movement – even if it’s a 30 min walk – is also great!
- Put your glucose drink in the fridge, it tastes better this way!
The morning of
- You can plan to eat your normal meals before your glucose test.
- The test can be done any time of day, and it doesn’t matter when you last ate.
- Eating some protein in the last meal can help keep your stomach settled as your blood sugar quickly rises and drops.
40 minutes before your appointment time
- Drink the glucose drink, in under 5 minutes.
- Once finished, note the time, and set a timer for one hour.
- You may drink water after you consume the glucose drink, but don’t eat anything after.
- Head to the Oula office.
- When your timer goes off, we’ll draw your blood.