Diabetes, the tendency to have increased blood sugars, is among the most common medical conditions in pregnancy

  1. Find an obstetrician. Without an obstetrician, the pregnant woman will never be able to determine if she has gestational diabetes. The tests required are not available for home use. The obstetrician will perform various tests at every visit to rule out gestational diabetes.
  2. Attend regular Ob visits. At first, the obstetrician visits will only be scheduled every month. As the due date begins to approach, these visits will become more frequent. The obstetrician cannot test for gestational diabetes or track the health of the baby if mom does not keep appointments.
  3. Determine a previous family history of gestational diabetes. If there is a previous family history of gestational diabetes, this information needs to be reported during the first visit with the obstetrician. Any family history of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should also be reported.
  4. Determine a previous patient history of gestational diabetes. If mom has been pregnant before and suffered from gestational diabetes this could mean she is more likely to have the condition with this pregnancy. Mom needs to be upfront with the obstetrician about all events of any previous pregnancies.
  5. Report any vision changes. One of the most common signs of gestational diabetes is a change in vision. The obstetrician will ask at every visit if there are any vision changes, but between visits if there is a change, the Ob needs to be informed immediately.
  6. Polyuria. Polyuria is an increase in urination. While most pregnant women undergo this symptom, early in the pregnancy before baby has a chance to put pressure on the bladder, it could be a sign of gestational diabetes. Even pregnant women, who are urinating more often, could see an increase in urination if gestational diabetes develops.
  7. Polydypsia. Polydypsia is the second in the trio of common diabetes symptoms. Polydypsia is an increase in thirst. If mom feels like she is thirsty all the time, even after drinking her fill, this could be a sign of gestational diabetes.
  8. Polyphagia. Increased hunger comes along with pregnancy as well, but sharp increases in hunger that are not normal could be a sign of diabetes. This symptom is referred to as polyphagia.
  9. Watch blood pressure levels. With undiagnosed gestational diabetes, preeclampsia is more likely. The blood pressure screenings at each doctor's appointment will help the doctor watch the BP levels closely. This is another reason to keep those Ob / Gyn appointments during pregnancy.
  10. Urine screenings. With every Ob visit, mom will have to "pee in a cup". The urine is then tested for a variety of things including glucose. If glucose is found in the urine, mom will then be tested for gestational diabetes. The presence of glucose in the urine is not a 100% indicator of diabetes as some pregnant women simply pass glucose through the urine.
  11. Blood glucose test. The blood glucose test is similar to the one diabetics use every day. The blood is drawn and glucose levels are noted.
  12. Glucose tolerance test. The glucose tolerance test most often occurs around the 20th week of pregnancy. Mom will need to drink a glucose drink and have blood drawn at various times after the drink is consumed. This test can be performed at several times in the pregnancy as needed. There are three tests - the one hour, the three hour and the eight hour.