How to Prepare for the Gestational Diabetes Screening Test

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Every pregnant woman must go through the gestational diabetes screening test somewhere between her 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Certainly one of the easiest tests she'll have to endure during these nine incredible months, it can still be a little nerve racking if you're not quite sure what to expect or how to prepare for the test. Following just a few simple rules will ensure that you're ready for the test and will obtain the most accurate results possible to avoid any further testing.

  • Eat your normal diet for the few days before the test. Don't try anything out of the ordinary or attempt to correct any dietary faux pas you've been committing so far during your pregnancy. The gestational diabetes screening test needs to be able to profile you on a regular day, so don't try to prepare for the test by eating extra healthy if you've not been doing this so far.

  • Put that cup down! Drinking after midnight the night before your gestational diabetes screening test may interfere with your body's absorption of the glucose drink the next day. In fact, most doctors would prefer that you didn't drink anything for the 12 hours before your appointment. For example, if your appointment is at 8 a.m., you'll want to stop drinking anything by 8 p.m. the night before.

  • Ask your doctor whether any of the medications you may be on will interfere with the test. Though you may not be able to avoid taking the medication as you prepare to take your gestational diabetes screening test, alerting your doctor that you're taking certain medicines will allow him to account for any anomalies in your results.

  • Wear short sleeved, sleeveless or a loose fitting shirt. The lab will need to draw blood from you at least twice during the test, so you'll want to be sure that they can get to your arms or hands easily. If it's wintertime, or particularly cold in the hospital be sure to bring a sweater or jacket that can easily be removed.

  • Bring a book. You'll be sitting in the lab for at least an hour, maybe up to 4 depending on the particular test, so you'll want something to entertain yourself with. Hand-held video games and cell phones are discouraged since physical activity may alter your results.

Tips & Warnings

  • Usually you'll be offered an option of orange or grape flavored glucose drinks. There seems to be a consensus that the orange is more pleasant and easier to drink than the grape.
  • Some women have a hard time stomaching the excessively sweet glucose drink that they must imbibe for the test. There's really no way around it, so prepare yourself if you feel that you may have a tough time swallowing the syrup.
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