Every pregnant woman is at risk of developing gestational diabetes, so it is recommended that all pregnant women are screened using a glucose tolerance blood test at 24-28 weeks’ gestation.
There are some women who are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. For women who have previously had diabetes during pregnancy, they are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes again.
These women who are at a much higher risk, should be screened before becoming pregnant, at 12 weeks’ gestation and again at 24-28 weeks if not previously diagnosed.
Gestational Diabetes Content
|Gestational Diabetes Program|
High risk factors for developing gestational diabetes include:
You can read more about the risk factors for gestational diabetes for more information.
All women should be tested for gestational diabetes at weeks 24-28 gestation, which is during your second trimester. You are at a high risk of gestational diabetes if you are obese at the beginning of your pregnancy; have previously had gestational diabetes; or a close family member (i.e. mother, father, or sibling) has diabetes. If you are at a higher risk, your doctor may screen you earlier for gestational diabetes.
A pregnancy oral glucose tolerance test involves:
Typically, a blood glucose reading below 7.8mmol/L (140mg/dL) is considered to be normal.
An elevation in blood glucose levels are diagnostic at either the fasting, 1 hour or 2-hour test. You only need one test to show abnormal blood glucose readings higher than normal values, to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
|Fasting glucose||1 hour glucose||2 hour glucose|
|5.2 mmol/L or more||10.0 mmol/L or more||8.5 mmol/L or more|
|92 mg/dL or more||180 mg/dL or more||153 mg/dL or more|
Read about how diabetes is diagnosed for more information.
Currently, there have been no studies that have defined the optimal glycaemic targets for women with gestational diabetes. Further research is required to determine optimal blood glucose targets.
Below are suggested from the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society targets for women with gestational diabetes:
Your specific blood glucose targets may be set by your doctor.
The Hb A1c targets for women who already have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, can be found in our article ‘what is the Hb A1c test’.
If you experience any symptoms of gestational diabetes or you have risk factors for developing gestational diabetes, it is important to be tested at 24-28 weeks gestation. Some people are at higher risk than others. If you are 25 years or older or have other risk factors for diabetes, you may require testing earlier in pregnancy. By diagnosing and treating gestational diabetes, it means you can decrease the risk of developing or delay any further health complications of gestational diabetes. These complications can affect both you and your child later in life, for example you are both at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It is important to know that diagnosing diabetes should not rely solely on using a Hb A1c test.
Once you learn what your gestational diabetes status is, or if you already have gestational diabetes, the next most important step is to become educated. You can join the Gestational Diabetes Program to help you learn how to manage gestational diabetes and improve health outcomes for you and your child. The program is personalised and tailored, giving you more of the content that you want. The program also helps you to stay motivated and teaches you what changes you need to make.