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.
- 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.
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
- 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.