Last week when I shared 5 Prenatal Standards That I Refuse, the conversation, if I can call it that, got a little heated on social media. Others echoed my sentiments, and still more were on the far end of the spectrum and had no medical care at all – no ultrasounds, no doctors, no tests of any kind. Out of all that mess, which is both intriguing and exhausting to keep up with and participate in, I did realize that I forgot one important prenatal test that deserved mention: the glucose drink and blood test for gestational diabetes.
I would never tell anyone that the test isn’t important, because gestational diabetes is a BIG deal and for sure something that needs to be known and addressed via a healthy, low-carb diet. Take heart – I have a list of my Top 10 Baby Steps to take as you move towards real food living. Glucose syrup, maltodextrin, purified water, acidity control compound E330, preservative E211, cola aroma, foodstuff color E150, and carbonic acid.
The very next month after following doctor’s orders and enduring the nasty orange drink, my OB told me that another patient with food allergies had pressed further and he discovered that actually, I was dead on accurate with my questioning. My  midwife told me I could just do some finger picks with a blood sugar monitor like those used by diabetics – some on waking (fasting) and some after high-carb meals.
If you’re looking for alternatives to the orange glucose drink for gestational diabetes testing in pregnancy, it sounds like there are also a myriad of foods you can eat and still have the regular blood draw. I also appreciated reading these stories of women who also wanted to avoid the orange stuff from Anastasia via Today’s Mama, What I Gather (Paleo), and Oaxacaborn. Even though you are eating a whole food diet and limiting grains, certain healthful foods can still spike your blood sugar. I was not going to see the doctor for another week, so I didn't know if that counted as "pass". Searching for more advice from PTT and looking at the posts of expectant mothers who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I went ahead and purchased a blood glucose meter.
And so I continued my journey of poking fingers an hour after my meals to see how I fare on the glucose meter. Once you have established a "safe meal" that does not spike your glucose, you can save yourself from poking your finger afterwards.
After almost two weeks of further self monitoring, I have found a few "safe meal" combinations that seem to work for me. Here are some of the snack options, usually eaten 2-3 hours after lunch and right before I sleep. The scale I have at home is somewhat inaccurate, so even though it seems to indicate I have no gained weight since my last prenatal visit two weeks, I won't know for sure until I go for my next visit on Tuesday.
But now that I think about it, I'll probably head to the pharmacy later to get ketone test strips.
Wednesday afternoon I headed to my appointment as usual, and was shocked when I arrived to see the midwife handing out glucose drinks to our group. Had I known I was going to be given this bottle of orange goo at my appointment, I would have eaten much much differently that day.
I’ll be honest and tell you that as soon as I got off the phone with the nurse, even though in my heart I just knew I would fail the test, I put my head down on the dining room table and started sobbing. Step 1: Glucagon emergency injectionThis is an injection of glucagon that raises the level of glucose in the blood.
Step 2: Insulin delivery systemThis is an insulin delivery system that offers you an easy way to deliver from 2 to 70 units of insulin. Step 3: PenfillThis is used as a cartridge for novo pens and is really useful for insulin dependent people so it deserves to be in my kit. Step 6: LancetsLancets are the fine needles used with a lancing device to draw a blood sample for glucose testing. Step 11: Long lasting carbohydratesA good idea would be to add some sources of long lasting carbs such as a packet of cookies or a breakfast bar. Step 13: Information leaflet about diabetesYou can create a leaflet that contains all the information about diabetes and its troubleshooting. Step 1: Glucagon emergency injectionShow All ItemsThis is an injection of glucagon that raises the level of glucose in the blood. Alright, it would seem that I need to shake off my squeamishness about taking pictures in medical buildings.
Drink the 50g of glucose drink within five minutes of starting (which they’d given me to take home at my last appointment), wait an hour, have blood drawn.
I think this was largely to do with the fact I had two sliced of toast with a little peanut butter and two clementine oranges for breakfast, washed down by the glucose drink. For some reason, this didn’t settle me, not one little bit and I was pretty worked up. The first time I did a very similar test (diagnosing insulin resistance for PCOS earlier in 2013), it was horrible, I was almost sick (numerous times), I was woozy and faint and spent the long part of two hours, in the disabled bathroom, clutching on to the rails so I didn’t pass out.
In order to pass the tolerance test, your blood sugar scores must be below set levels at each hour.

My phlebotomist told me to give the office a call after 24-hours, (so noon Friday), which I did.
While I was waiting, I discovered that with LabCorp in some states (including Texas) you can register for their online patient results system, they will even email you when your blood has been processed, to let you know the results are available – excellent!
Also, I discovered that my friend had blood taken earlier in the day and her results took less than an hour. You may think that this is a crazy thing to advise, but, seriously, have a poke around the internet, you will find TONNES of women who are asking for tips to pass the test. The day before your test, drink excessive amounts of water, hydrate your veins so they are plump and easy to find – for yourself, moreso than the phlebotomist. A big issue for me is that mom can be pushed into induction and interventions that could lead to a C-section that simply are not necessary due to slightly elevated blood sugar levels, especially since every woman is different and many women have slightly elevated blood sugars during pregnancy anyway. This entry was posted in Babies, Lifestyle Changes, pregnancy, Top Tips, Womens health and tagged 1 hour glucose test, 3 hour glucose test, advice for 1 hour glucose test, advice for 3 hour glucose test, gestational diabetes, Gestational diabetes test, glucose challenge test, glucose tolerance test, insulin resistance, PCOS, Pregnancy and pcos, pregnancy glucose test by icemaiden013. April 24, 2015 6 Comments For anyone that has never been pregnant, or never had to endure the overnight-fasting grump-fest that is a pregnancy glucose test, it’s not very fun. Here’s my live blog about the 3 hour glucose test… it was a doozy!  Have you had to endure one of these fasting sessions for the glucose test? This was a big concern for me when I first got pregnant, simply because of the fact that my Dad got diabetes when he was about 18. My midwife called me 3 days later, and told me I failed the test and I would have to do the next 2 hour Glucose Test.
My advice to anyone doing the first glucose test – if you can do it in the morning, FAST ANYWAYS! Some folks were up in arms that I would say no to my doctor about anything, apparently, or they didn’t read the post and assumed I said NO to everything.
Whether you want to get healthy while pregnant or get your family turned around in their nutrition, you won’t want to miss it! 3’s pregnancy, which was the first one after we were really, really eating real, traditional foods and I had weaned myself down to the point where I appreciated lightly sweetened foods and thought that mainstream, heavily sweetened desserts felt too rich, both in my mouth and in my belly. I’ve loved her video series for years and have also met her and she is just the sweetest, most genuine woman! My diet is pretty darn good although not impeccable of course, and although my sweet tooth has been been toned down and appreciates dark chocolate more than M&Ms, it’s still quite a vocal force in my late-night snacking adventures! I believe that God calls us to be good stewards of all His gifts as we work to feed our families: time, finances, the good green earth, and of course, our healthy bodies.
Certain fruits- I can’t eat very many grapes for example or only have half an apple or my sugar goes too high. The best remedy for GD is dietary changes to a diet more like mine anyway (though I do love desserts sweetened with unrefined sugars), so I figured I was good.
From the PTT BabyMother board, I knew that people would sometimes skip breakfast before they go for the screening so they have a better chance of passing.
Whether my self-reporting had anything to do with the doctor's decision, I don't know, but she ordered me to do the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. Like every other PTT expectant mother who failed the first or even the second test, I felt like I failed at being a person. I was told to not eat after 7PM the day before, show up at 8:30AM the next day, and expect to not have anything besides the disgusting 100 grams of glucose until noon. I was a little put off when I ran out of the 30 gauge needles that came with the meter and had to switch to the 33 gauge (more fine) needles. For the expectant mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes and were forced to have counseling with nutritionists, what did they eat? I dunno if it just didn’t exist when I had my boys or there is some other reason why.
He said there weren’t any other than eating jelly beans (lots of them) which I assumed were probably just as bad as the orange glucose drink. Potatoes also really raise blood sugar and it is a food they suggest diabetics or pre-diabetics avoid. After all, to fail the first screening means that one would be subjected to the much more brutal, fast-required, 3-hr glucose tolerance test. I didn't consider myself to have the best (or the worst) eating habits and I knew I had a sweet tooth, but like everyone else I thought to myself "It can't be that bad". At some point the cutoff for calling what is gestational diabetes, just like the differentiation between overweight and obese, is extremely arbitrary.
I wasn't able to get enough blood out of it with the 33 gauge, even when I set the needle intensity (how hard the lance pokes down on the finger) to maximum and poked twice at the same spot. Granted, I did not record my post-snack glucose level since I was running outside all day long. My main concern was that I did not want to starve myself which may lead to excess ketones in the urine.

I have also (sort of) mentally accepted that if all fails, that if there is nothing I can do through diet control to achieve healty food intake and healthy glucose levels, I will accept medication. The bright orange protective case makes it easy to travel with, and easy to find in an emergency.
Most practices and online pregnancy forums will tell you to watch your sugar and carb intake the day of the test and to stick to a lot of protein.
Because they don’t take a base-level glucose read before the 1 hour test, so they have nothing to compare it to, which bothers me. Welcome to my little corner where I share my parenting tips, recipes, & humorous anecdotes as I raise my redhead son and baby girl! I wonder if the more complex carbs like the banana or bread options, or the lactose in milk, would hit the bloodstream in the same manner. At the very least, if you do eat something high in carbs, try and have protein with it, to help level it out. Second, the early months of daily throw up and midnight hunger pain caused me to switch from a previously more protein-based diet to a carb-based diet. For every sugary indulgence I had, in my mind I negated it with the next healthy thing I ate, be it a salad, a tofu dish, or some hearty roast chicken. When most folks gain no or drop weight in the first trimester and made up for the baby growth in the third trimester, I gained weight at a steady formula of one pound per week starting week 10. I ate dinner at 7PM, but had a small serving of low fat yogurt at 9PM before I went to bed. Even the Flax Plus Raisin Bran cereal, which has the highest dietary fiber per serving at my local WholeFoods, has only 8g. I don't feel like I am starving, since I supplement my now low-carb meals with additional snacks. When I was pregnant, I was always hungry – with my second son, who is affectionately known as a bottomless pit, I looked 9 months pregnant after just the first trimester. I had a home birth midwife and she let me test at home with a finger prick test after a high carb breakfast.
I had a cup of milk and a dried pork bun for breakfast --- in retrospect not the greatest combination for a pre-test meal, went to the hospital, drank 50 grams of glucose, and got my blood drawn an hour later. Every time I went for the prenatal visit, I gained almost exactly, in pounds, the number of weeks since I had last visited them. I was more worried that I would wake up from hunger or be too dizzy the next day to go to the hospital.
I wasted a lot of test strips on insufficient amounts of blood, and the test strips were the most expensive item. The fibers have been keeping me away from one of my greatest fears in pregnancy discomfort.
The dinner was a bit harder to judge, since we ate at a fancy Japanese restaurant and it was a 2-hour meal.
My total food intake, on paper, appears to be only a little less from what I was eating before the glucose test. Apparently, no one else besides me have dinosaur skin, because Walgreens does not sell anything but the 33 gauge.
I had one bowl of miso soup, 5-6 pieces of sashimi (no rice), 2 pieces of nigiri (has rice), 1-2 bites of grilled fish and chicken, and at the every end ate a small slice of birthday cake. I am a little unsatiated after main meals, but I have also discovered that this is often because my food digests slower these days, so I always have a delayed satiation response after meals.
I know that was because medically, it was way worse to not gain weight, since underweight babies suffer from more complications than overweight babies. I ended up finding the 30 gauge needles from a wholesale website specifically catering to diabetics. I was OK with going over for the birthday cake, but looks like I was OK because I ate very little carbs beyond that.
That explains why I get snack-y every few hours… I have to graze to keep an even keel. So, who’s I am definitely not approaching this with a mainstream medicine mindset, I think some kind of testing for blood sugar is useful, especially in pregnancy! Perhaps before I was consuming food too much and too fast and with my organs being squeezed into tigher space, I was suffering from indigestion.

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