Recognizing gestational diabetes
Blood sugar testing is recommended for all pregnant people because having gestational diabetes (GDM) has consequences for mom and baby. For moms, recognizing and treating GDM (first by diet changes) helps regulate blood sugar and helps form good habits for later life (those with GDM have a 40-50% chance of diabetes when not pregnant).
Unrecognized, untreated or unregulated high blood sugar can result to a large baby (macrosomia) which can lead to a C-section, shoulder dystocia (emergency situation where baby's shoulders have a hard time being delivered or baby gets stuck), episiotomy, vacuum or forceps delivery. The larger baby may also sustain injuries from a difficult birth, or have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) due to being accustomed to a high sugar environment in utero. Drinking a sugary drink then doing a blood test 1 hour later can screen for GDM to prevent these consequences.