What to expect when you’re expecting (a gestational diabetes test!)

When Diabetes WA staff member Ashling discovered she was expecting a bub in June, she decided to raise awareness and funds in support of women with gestational diabetes! You can support Ashling in this year’s HBF Run for a Reason! Every cent counts, click here. 

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“When I woke up this morning my first thought was ‘how on earth will I survive 3 hours without breakfast!”

Today marks my first gestational diabetes test, and also the start of the third trimester of my first pregnancy. As my active little baby kicks away merrily (not sure yet boy or girl – but surely little girls don’t kick this hard!) I am hoping that this test will be all clear. I may be young, relatively fit and active, however the extra strain that pregnancy brings on your body and the additional hormones required means that gestational diabetes can occur in anyone. Family history and other lifestyle factors can play a large part, so really – I am not sure. My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December last year so if we both end up testing our blood glucose levels and administering insulin life will be very interesting!

Part of the test involves three blood tests. I had one and then had to drink this bright green liquid which tasted like cordial from a 1996 friends birthday party crossed with a green snake lolly. The actual taste was ok – but that being the first thing that hits my belly in the morning was not a nice feeling. I am someone who likes to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up, so this was a different feeling! There is another blood test one at the one hour mark and another one at the two  hour mark. Luckily I don’t mind blood tests – but I have never had to have three in three hours.

At the halfway mark, I started feeling a little off. Quite tired as well for some reason, despite the massive sugar injection! The two hours did pass relatively quickly, and luckily the staff were lovely in saying that I could rest on a bed if need be. I did shut my eyes a few times over the two hours. It was all over pretty quickly and not too bad. Thankfully it only has to happen once, and as many times as you want to have babies I suppose!

Pregnant woman

I don’t find out results for a few days – there were some additional tests they did including iron studies to see how things are progressing. Testing for gestational diabetes is such an important test – and has been a requirement for women during pregnancy since the early 1990’s. There can be risks to the mother and also the unborn child, including an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.

This year, I am hoping to waddle along in the 4km HBF Run for a Reason walk – and raise awareness and money for Gestational Diabetes. I am joined on my team, the Belly Walkers, by another pregnant lady from Diabetes WA due in June! Diabetes WA has great services and resources for women who live with Gestational Diabetes both during and once their pregnancy is finished.”

More:

Information on Gestational Diabetes.

Donate to the Belly Walkers!

Walking Away from Diabetes. Helping women who have had gestational diabetes reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.

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Ashling is the Primary Care Coordinator at Diabetes WA.

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