Declining the 28 week Glucose Test

After much consideration I have decided to decline the Glucose Tolerance Test – for now.
This test wasn’t even offered to me in my previous pregnancies, but obviously times have changed and it is now recommended for all pregnant women to be screened for Gestational Diabetes.

What is Gestational Diabetes?
It is a form of diabetes that occurs in pregnancy. Your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin and your sugar levels rise and thus cannot regulate effectively. Up to 10% of women in Australia develop GD.

Risk Factors

  • over 25 years old
  • family history of diabetes
  • had a previous baby weighing 4.5kg or more
  • of Asian, African or Middle Eastern descent
  • had GD in a previous pregnancy
  • pre-pregnancy BMI was over 30
  • high blood pressure
  • previous stillbirth or baby born with a defect

Complications of Gestational Diabetes

  • small chance of having a large baby which could lead to birth complications
  • baby could suffer from hypoglycemia and jaundice in the early days after birth

So all this is well and good but what if you are low risk? Why subject yourself & your unborn baby to that awful test? My only risk factor is that i am 34, older than 25 that’s for sure! Just need to take one look at my crows feet to figure that one out. But i am pretty sure that my pancreas is still in fine working order, my liver would be the only organ I’d have serious concerns about.

The Tests
How do they test/screen for GD? Well there is a one hour or three hour test. If you fail the one hour test which is not a diagnostic test for diabetes you are usually forced to submit to the three hour test. 30% of women who fail the one hour test go on to pass the three hour test and do not have GD. The three hour test requires 8 hours of fasting, and both tests have been shown to be highly inaccurate and report high false positives.

It has been reported that drinking such a refined sugar load especially after fasting can ‘mimic’ diabetes which in fact not actual diabetes but ‘starvation diabetes’. You basically have shocked your body in to thinking it has diabetes when in fact you are perfectly normal. Just think if you are diagnosed with GD, you will have to test your blood sugars 4 times a day, follow a strict diabetic diet & your up for more antenatal visits and testing. So what if your one of the many women who got a false positive?

Many women experience nausea, vomiting & fainting after having to undergo this testing.

Treatment of GD

  • eat a healthy diet
  • exercise
  • keep weight gain under control
  • small percentage of women require insulin

My reasons for declining the test

  • I have only one risk factor, I am old
  • The testing itself is not accurate – i do not believe pregnant women should fast then bombard themselves with a sugary drink
  • It also seems abnormal to test on such a sugar high when i eat a healthy diet and my body is not accustomed to such high sugar loads slightly true
  • majority of large babies are born to mothers who do not have GD
  • If the treatment for GD is healthy eating, exercise & watch your weight then i consider myself proactive as I do this anyway so why submit to the testing.
  • If by some chance i happened to test positive to either test than my pregnancy would be considered high risk and that would start that huge medical wheel of intervention and my chances of a natural home birth would be greatly reduced.

Has anyone else declined the test?

I have a compulsory antenatal appointment @ 30 weeks with my backup hospital. I know that I will cop some flack for declining some of my prenatal testing. I have worked in their antenatal clinic before and some of the older midwifes there are more ‘medwifes’ if anything but in the end it is my body, my baby and my decision. I may have to take along hippy Brad for support, he will have them all wrapped around his finger in minutes.

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  1. says

    I’m declining it. This is my 6th, I’ve never had it before, my biggest baby was 7lbs12oz… The only one I carried to term. The rest have been tiny at 36&37 wks. I’ve alway been considered just slightly underweight.. Or barely average. I’m 5’1 this time my prepreggo weight was 105. I am almost 34 but 2 of my previous pregnancies were also after 25. And actually my ob didn’t even make me drink the awful stuff the last two times… I just drank a 12oz soda. We’re homebirthing this time… I’m not fooling with it. I did prenatal labs and I’ll do the GBS test but that’s it!

  2. says

    Hi Eve, My biggest baby was 7lbs10oz and she was 5 days late. Brad was a 10lber though, but still not enough reason to do the test.I think i will do the GBS swabs, not sure yet. Yay for home birthers!

  3. says

    I wish I could decline it, but in order to use the Birthing Inn in Tacoma, it was required. ^_^ We declined our ultrasound, though, and I would have declined this test, too, if I could have.

  4. says

    I declined them too, all three times, I also declined the NT scan at 12 weeks.
    This time around the NHS couldn’t get their act together and make an appointment which I had as said declined. I decline the Vit K as well. OHHH I’m a rebel and when I had my 1st child back in Sydney, I declined the HEP B I said when she starts sleeping around & shooting drugs we’ll talk about it then :D

  5. says

    I had the test but I had a couple risk factors and actually was pretty sure I was gonna come out as a positive. Was very surprised when I didn’t.

    Hahaha @ Nat, that’s exactly what I said when I refused the Hep B at birth :P

    We declined NT scan at 12 weeks but asked them to check at 19 weeks just so we could prepare ourselves better if need be.

    We refused Vit K too.

  6. says

    That Hep B was introduced for at risk babies ie newborns going home to remote aboriginal communities and now every baby seems to get it! Crazy! I will be declining that too.
    Nat & Glowless – did you go the oral vit k, or just said no all together?

  7. says

    We were told the Hep B wasn’t as much for individual circumstances, but part of a plan for global eradication. I don’t think we’ll be getting it. I had to take the GD test for heredity reasons but came back negative. I didn’t have to fast though thank goodness!

  8. Anonymous says

    Thankyou! What a great informative blog entry.

    I am pregnant with #2, I did the 1 hour test with my first, and passed no worries, despite having a BMI of well over 30 before starting pregnancy.

    This time my GP gave me a referral for a two hour test straight up, and I started to question the necessity when I found out that not only do I need to fast overnight, but I have to have a high carb diet for three days prior. This doesn’t make any sense to me, as surely it is only going to load up the reading, and give an inaccurate result. My only risk factor again is that my BMI at the start was 39, BUT I am now 24 weeks pregnant and still at the same weight as my starting weight.

    You have helped my confidence to refuse the test.

    AJ81 (sent here by Kidspot)

  9. Net says

    Is it common to get false positives on GDM tests? After reading this i asked my OB and he just ignored my questions.
    I was diagnosed with GDM and have been testing my BSL 7 times a day. I have a food diary, although i havent actually changed my eating habits – the only thing that has changed is i eat the fruit thats cheapest. :)My BSL have been low…… every single time.
    (except the one time i accidently ate the whole box of chocolates my boss gave me…)

    This annoys me, since now my happy midwife who will let me do what ever i like – has been switched to an OB who is a d*ck and is pushing me to have a c/section at 38weeks.

  10. R skinner says

    I had non of the risk factors with my first baby, young no family history, BMI under 30 etc and was diagnosed with GD. With my second baby I had two risk factors age and previous GD but tested negative!

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