Each month of your pregnancy you should have a prenatal exam by your health care provider. During your visit to the office or clinic, you will provide a urine sample to the nurse. Amongst other things, the doctor or midwife wants to determine if there is in glucose in your urine.
If your body is spilling glucose into your urine, it is a warning sign that you may have gestational diabetes. The next step that your doctor may take is to test your blood sugar level in the office with a glucose monitor. This is a small, transportable device that comes with an electronic reader, lancets, and testing strips. A small pinprick is made on your finger with the lancet and the drop of blood is placed on one of the strips and placed into the reader. Depending on the reading the monitor provides your doctor may or may not order a blood test at the lab.
To be on the cautious side, most doctors will send you for a glucose tolerance test at the lab regardless of the blood sugar level in the office. This is a fasting test and you will not be able to eat for 10 hours before having your blood tested. For this reason, the tests are performed first thing in the morning and you don’t eat anything before going to bed.
When you arrive you will have your blood drawn and then be given a drink high in sugar. After drinking this, you will be asked to wait for one hour and have your blood tested again. The results of this test will tell how your body is processing the sugar in your body.
If the tests come back positive, most likely you will be referred to a specialist for further care and treatment.