Gestational Diabetes

I just got a call from my doctor and I failed the 1-hour gestational diabetes test. I’m not yet going to worry too much about it because I seem to remember this being a common occurrence, and women go on to pass the 3-hour test. But I am curious.

If you’re reading this and you have had an experience with either failing the first test and passing the second, OR with gestational diabetes, might you share your experience with me? Does it just mean changing one’s diet? Does it mean I have to “take it easy” and will have to postpone school? Just wondering what my worst case scenario might be.

Also: did you end up with Type 2 postpartum? I have so many questions.

I’m also anemic and need an iron supplement immediately. Any insight there as well?

27 weeks and falling apart, my friends. Falling apart.


  1. Now, I have to preface this by saying that I don’t personally have experience with this. BUT I just wanted to send out words of reassurance! My sister-in-law and at least 3 of my friends failed their one hour test and ALL of them went on to pass their 3 hour test. It does happen a lot.

    As for getting Type II afterwards – unlikely. I have done quite a bit of research on Type II diabetes (professionally, that is) and gestational diabetes is a different beast that usually clears up post-partum.


  2. Please don’t worry. Same thing happened to me, and then after the torture of the second longer test…results showed not even a trace of issue.
    This happened when I was pregnant with my second.
    I freaked myself out about it, researched what I would have to do, eat, if the baby was in danger,etc. All for nothing.
    And truth be told, even it comes back positive it isn’t terrible and is completely manageable….especially for a smart gal like yourself.


  3. I miserably failed my 1 hour GTT with my first pregnancy, and passed the 3 hour (barely!). Definitely do not worry yet about gestational diabetes. Most women who fail the 1 hr pass the 3 hour test fine.

    Even if you do fail the 3 hour and get diagnosed with GD, I don’t think you will be asked to quit school. Many women are able to control the diabetes with diet (meaning you won’t really be able to eat what you are making at school!). You will probably meet with a dietician who will go over an appropriate diet with you, be given a glucose meter where you’ll check your own sugars several times a day, and be encouraged to get some exercise.

    With regards to the anemia…are you taking a PN vitamin and needing an iron supplement on top of that? I can’t remember if you are a vegetarian, but increase your high-iron foods. Red meat is an obvious choice if you eat it. High iron veggies include spinach, lentils, white beans, apricots, and pinto beans. Also, I believe that Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron more readily, so make sure you get plenty of that. With whatever supplement you chose, make sure to increase your fluid intake.

    Good luck! Baby boy will be here soon and this will all be a distant memory!


  4. even if you fail the test…

    this is something you can push through and is reversible via diet modification. a friend had this happen to her, and within a month she was back to normal. iirc, breakfast every morning became steel-cut oatmeal and some other things that – while not flexible – are pretty damn tasty and nutritious.

    bottom line: its not the end of the world , and these things are reversible in short time ( ie: no harm will be done to you or baby )


  5. I failed the first test, was completely stressed out, spent WAY too much time conversing with Dr Google… then passed the 3-hour test.

    The anaemia probably makes sense in your case – baby is sucking the iron out of you at a pace that is hard to keep up with even for the most ferocious meat-eaters. I know that I had problems during (and before, and after) my pregnancy, but I was able to make up for it by making a point of eating an obscene amount of red meat and dark green veggies.

    (You and baby will be fine! =)


  6. I failed the 1st and passed the 2nd with my 2nd kid (almost 7 years ago). I’m currently 24 weeks, and have to do the test in a few weeks. I’m sure I’ll fail that one and have to do the 2nd test.

    I am anemic as well. Doctor told me to get Vitron-C. It’s a little more genital on the stomach (I am still throwing up) and it has vitamin C to help the iron absorb. I found it in the pharmacy at the local grocery store.


  7. Hi! First time commenter – I had gestational diabetes with my third and I can tell you how I controlled it through diet, which could prevent you from testing positive on the 3 hour if you do it now.
    Eat protein – eat small snacks in between meals – eat no carbs AT ALL with dinner and STOP eating at 8pm. If you do eat carbs, eat small portions and at the same time as protein. Best time to eat any carbs are probably afternoon. My breakfast every day for four months was egg, toast, lunch was salad (be careful – fruit would cause my sugar levels to spike), dinner was meat/chicken and vegetables. I think you can probably avoid testing positive on the 3 hour if you go with this plan. And even if you end up with GD – my son was fine (perfectly healthy) and my blood sugar has been fine ever since, 3 years later. Good luck!


  8. A friend of mine failed the one hour but passed the three hour. The doc suggested that she probably failed the one hour because she had dessert the night before her test and a sugar heavy dessert can throw off the results. Perhaps you had a sugary snack the night before your test?


  9. I failed the one hour and passed the second. Make sure you make the appointment the earliest in the morning that you can because you can’t eat the night before and they make you drink a gross drink (mine tasted like flat, syrupy orange soda). Good luck!


  10. So, I’m gathering this is nature’s way of telling me I need to eat meat, isn’t it?

    Or i could just eat more eggs. I love eggs.

    Ugh. Just ugh. :[

    You guys are making me feel better, though. So thank you for that.


  11. With iron, you want to try and take the supplement a few hours away from foods/supplements with calcium–your body won’t absorb the iron well at all if there’s calcium competing with it. Coffee/tea are bad too.
    I was anemic before/during/after my pregnancy and got kind of lazy about that supplement (figured that my prenatal should be enough, even though I tested for anemia while taking it regularly), and now my one-year-old is anemic and I feel very guilty. (No idea if I’m really right to feel guilty about it, but still: it sucks.)


    1. Ali: Thanks. I was told to have it with citrus and nowhere near my regular vitamin. Sound familiar? Also: I got something called Slow FE.

      I am sure it’s not related to you at all. But I know how we mothers are. :]


  12. Don’t worry – I failed the 1st and the 3 hour test with my 2nd pregnancy (my 1st pregnancy was a breeze). I ended up with gestational diabetes. It’s *really* not too bad. You just go on a diet and watch your carbs. If you have it, you will likely meet with a diabetes nurse at the hospital to teach you about the diet. If you don’t stick to the diet, you may need insulin shots (which I absolutely did not want to do because I am a big wimp).

    I just had to check my sugars (finger prick – not a big deal – you get so used to it) maybe 5 times a day and record it.

    You can carry on with school and such – you just have to find a good moment to finger prick because you have to do it at certain times (an hour after eating, etc.).

    The worst case scenario is needing insulin shots – while not a big deal – just a pain to find the time/place to do it. I’m not good at doing stuff like that at restaurant bathrooms or places out.

    So if you can control your diet, you’ll be just fine! Hope that was helpful. Good luck – hopefully you’ll pass the 3 hour. The trick to gestational diabetes is drinking lots of water and walking. Doing these 2 things will bring down your sugars.


  13. I had gestational diabetes with my third pregnancy and it really wasn’t such a big deal. I was able to control it with my (vegetarian) diet by eating very few carbs, which was difficult but not impossible when you know it’s only for a certain amount of time. There are some people who watch their diets very closely and will still need meds to control their blood sugar (just feel like I should mention that because a friend of mine spent months feeling like a failure because she couldn’t control her GD with diet and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else). Anyway, it should not at all impact your school or anything like that. BUT, I hope you pass your 3-hour – good luck!


  14. I failed the first test and passed the three hour with flying colors…. I wouldn’t stress about it too much – other than drinking nasty liquid again and having blood drawn repeatedly. I gained mucho weight with my pregnancy (55lbs) which may have had something to do with it (cause or effect – who knows?).


  15. I also failed the first test…miserably. My doctor told me that I didn’t have gestational diabetes yet, but I should start eating like I did. So, I read every single label and watched my carb and other sugar intake. I drank a lot more water and exercised as much as I could handle. Light walks, mostly. I passed the 3 hour test.

    Also, I was anemic and took the iron supplements. Make sure you get lots of fibre and drink lots and lots of water. Otherwise things get clogged that you do not want clogged, especially late in pregnancy when things are slowed down anyway. Get a stool softener. I know, gross, but I’m just speaking from experience. AND? Iron pills smell like cat pee. It’s so weird.


  16. I was anemic for my first pregnancy and not my second. In large part, I believe, due to my change of diet between the two.

    The second time around I are a lot of beans, quinoa, spinach, kale, fruits and veggies. Basically, I ate like a vegetarian most of the time and hardly ever indulged in sweets. Also switched from regular milk to rice milk.

    The first time around I knew the horror of iron supplements that led to horrible constipation that lead to even more horrible hemmoroids (which never ever really go away).

    Hope that helps!


  17. I also failed the 1 hr GTT with my second pregnancy and passed the 3 hr “pin cushion” test after. In addition, I am a meat eater and still had to take additional iron supplements for both pregnancies. I also second the Vitron-C that has been mentioned. Just be ware of constipation that may come about with the added iron. Gotta love that enjoyable pregnancy related issue that gets worse with something the Dr. prescribes. Good luck and try not to worry too much.


    1. Jesus. Doc didn’t mention constipation. Stool softener? Is this a pill of some sort? Vitamin? Or just prunes? Ugh.


  18. it’s a pill. you can also change your diet.

    do you use a cast-iron skillet? apparently a tiny bit does rub off – especially with acidic foods – and helps a bit with anemia.


  19. Mihow – I failed the first test both pregnancies, and passed the second test. The second test is horrible, I was so sick all the time, and then not being allowed to eat between the syrup drinks (the same one you drank at the test you failed) you have to have, my stomach was rolling. If you throw up, you have to start all over again, so don’t do that!! If you are a hard stick, let them draw blood from whereever – you don’t want to be sent to the lab to start this test over. Bring something to eat with you, so you can eat that immediately after the blood draw. Granola bar, peanut butter crackers, something. You will thank me for this later.

    As for the anemia – slow fe is what my doctor said to get, so I think you have the right stuff there. Have them test you again the next time you go in, to see if there is improvement. If there isn’t improvement – have them prescribe you iron supplements. I’ve said I was sick with both pregnancies, and I was anemic both times. The only thing I could keep down with the boy was steak, so I had beef most nights and was still anemic – to the point of nearly falling asleep while standing up most days.

    Gestational diabetes is type 2, which you should be able to control thru diet. Insulin shots aren’t that big of a deal, if you need to go that route. They are a very tiny needle, and it wouldn’t be for very long anyway. You will probably pass your second test with flying colors.

    You should probably buy stool softeners anyway, to have at home after you have the baby. I just bought the generic store brand, maybe $6. If you need them with the iron supplement, you will have them. I drank so many fluids that I didn’t really need them while taking the supplements, but I did need them the first couple of weeks at home with the baby.


    1. Thanks, guys.

      Yeah, I’ve NO PROBLEM with needles. I used to! Used to break out into a cold sweat, nearly pass out. But believe me you after a year worth of infertility treatments? I could draw my own blood at this point. (Gave myself injections when we tried injectables, so if NEED be, I think I could do the whole insulin shot thing. But hoping to fix this with diet.) I’ll just start South Beach now! Was planning on doing that at the end of this anyway! :]


  20. Anemia is very common. Iron supplement or prenatal vitamin with iron. Stool softener = colace (over the counter, no prescription needed).


  21. I failed the 1 hr both pregnancies, and failed the 3 hr in my second pregnancy. I was devastated (I desperately wanted a drug free birth, which I thought I could not have with GD. That was not the case). I think the hardest part of the whole process was the emotional aspect for me. The actual things I had to do were not hard, though they were time consuming. Diet changes (easy enough, but a different way of thinking and also shopping) with very little guidance from a nutritionist (therefore I had much flexibility). I had to check my blood sugars 4x day, the details are dependent on your situation. I hate needles, the whole thing was rough for me at first, but not bad at all when I got used to it. Exercise was a key thing, even 10 min/2 day of moderate walking made a big difference. I was in a lot better shape for my GD pregnancy though with the diet changes and exercise. I was totally still able to eat a bit of ice cream, chocolate, etc at night and be fine too. I believe most people are diet & exercise controlled, but some people need insulin no matter what they do. I think you will be fine staying in school, though be prepared for a bit of a time commitment up front for the learning curve (I’d say in 1-2 weeks once you get used to it, it gets much easier).

    For your 3 hour test they might tell you to not exercise before/during the test. Try to if you can though- if you are going to fail it you will still fail it, but if you are right on the boarder you might be able to save yourself from a GD diagnosis (they are very particular about not being even 1 pt over). Though if you are close to the cutoff but are not diagnosed, it would be a good idea to consider the GD diet anyway. Also try to have very low stress before/during the test, stress can raise your numbers.

    Good luck! I hope you pass! Remember though if you do have it, it is common (about 10%, I think), and manageable. Please feel free to contact me if you need any tips, I have many…

    Also I had to have 2 Non Stress Tests (easy, but again time consuming) from 35 weeks on, and an extra ultrasound at the end. Many times they want to induce but if you want to avoid that it does not always have to happen.

    As soon as I got to the hospital they did not care I had GD and never made me test, and as soon as I gave birth they were giving me tons of carbs (bagels!! I was so happy!) and sugar (huge drink of soda and juice). I was supposed to re-take the 3 hr test 3 months post pardum but my midwife never followed up on it and I know I am fine so I did not take it. Most people are fine, though you have an increased chance of Type 2 late in life. A small % of women actually have Type 2 and it just ironically shows up in pregnancy.

    For the iron, look into Floradix. It worked great for me. Pricey, but non constipating, so it was well worth the cost for me. It stains very badly though- clothes, teeth, etc. I ended up drinking it through a straw right to the back of my mouth because my teeth were getting stained.

    Sorry for the book here- I just have tons of info on this stuff for having just gone through it this year.

    And congrats on making the CMP Holiday List- bet you will be super busy now!


  22. I JUST had my second son 4 weeks ago. I failed the first blood test. I failed the second blood test. Took the 3-hour test and wanted to punch all medical personnel by the third blood draw.

    I passed the 3-hour. No gestational diabetes. Major time suck, but I guess it was worth it to know.


  23. I had gestational diabetes with my son who is now almost 3. I did not have postpartum diabetes. It can usually be controlled through diet alone if the mother is able to stick to the foods recommended by the nutritionist. I am not a huge meat eater either. I met with a nutritionist and she gave me some basic guidelines (explained good vs bad carbs), you eat every 2 hours and anytime you have a carb you must pair it with a protein as it slows the absorbtion of sugar to your blood. Juice is a no-no as it is already broken down and absorbs too quick. Example daily intake for me was: breakfast egg (p), slice of 100% whole wheat bread (c) with sugar free jelly/ snack: cottage cheese (p) and pineapples (c)/ lunch: oatmeal with strawberries (c) and peanut butter scoop (p)/ snack: string cheese (p) and applesauce (c)/ dinner: baked chicken (p) and lots of veggies (c) / snack: natural popcorn (c) and milk (p)


  24. PS: I was able to work fine and I did have to check my blood with a glucose meter several times a day. I was not encouraged to exercise as I had some other complecations and was not previously exercising. Good note is I continued to follow this plan post pregnancy and ended up being thinner and healthier after the pregnancy than before. So don’t freak yourself out it is totally doable.


  25. I failed the first and got “borderline” results with the 3-hour. Doc told me to go ahead and cut out all sweets and cut down on carbs, but I’m not to the point of having to monitor my blood sugar daily (yet). I think its most common in subsequent pregnancies, as you get older, and if you are overweight. This is my second pregnancy, and although I’m not OLD, I’m not in my twenties anymore, and I’m definitely overweight. I was overweight when I got pregnant, but have not gained any weight since I’ve been pregnant, so I thought I had been doing good!

    I’ve been reading that iron from meat is more easily absorbed than iron from veggies. Since I’ve been craving and eating meat this whole pregnancy, the iron thing hasn’t been a problem for me.


  26. I flunked the 1-hour so hard that they didn’t even bother having me take the 3-hour, they just sent me straight to the endocrinologist. I was able to keep my post-meal numbers down through diet and exercise, but my fasting numbers continued to be high, so I ended up having to inject myself with insulin every night before going to bed. But like you, I was not fazed by needles after having used injectibles to get pregnant!

    My baby ended up being almost 10 lbs, but I was still able to give birth to her naturally. She was (and is) very healthy, and is a totally normal weight for her height. I haven’t developed Type 2 diabetes, but my morning numbers are still higher than I would like. That is probably caused by other factors though (like having PCOS).


  27. My doctor reminded me as they drew blood that the first test isn’t a test at all…only a screening and alot of women don’t pass. He said don’t worry if you don’t…I ended up passing but I know a ton of women who didnt and went on to pass the 3 hour. The 3 hour is just a pain in the butt…good luck!!


  28. just to chime in, i failed the first test miserably. i was totally freaked and called my mom crying about the whole thing. then i passed the second test with no problems. it does suck having to sit and do nothing, eat nothing and drink nothing. you can’t even walk around b/c it might elevate your system, etc. bring a really good book.


  29. Hi!

    I’m 29 weeks prego with my first and just took round 1 of the GD test. I passed, but I was worried about it because this baby has completely rejected all vegetables and all I’ve been eating is carbs. I drink a ton of water though – like 3 liters a day or more – and I think that really helps my body process the sugars.

    Also – the thing I’ve been struggling with is getting enough protein. My doula wants me to have 80g a day! I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m just not so sure how healthy it is to eat a ton of animal products, so I try to do so in moderation. I’ve been supplementing my protein intake with whole grain cereals (also a source of iron) and Barilla Plus pasta has a ton of protein! I’ve been eating a ton of eggs too (still an animal product, I know), but just didn’t want you to think that red meat is your only option.

    And regarding constipation – I researched my vitamins a ton and found several reviews where people who had suffered from constipation switched to the brand I’m using and those issues went away. I’ve been taking them since before we conceived and I’ve never had a problem. It’s a 3 a day pill, and that can deter some people, but I’ve been really happy with them. They are New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal. You can get them online, at Whole Foods, or a Vitamin Store. They have 18mg of iron – not sure how that compares to other brands.

    I also drink a Danactive every night before I go to bed. Helps with heartburn and keeps things “moving” if you know what I mean.

    I just recently found your blog when searching for info on vaccinations and I so enjoy it! I understand your post about “what’s the point”, but I hope you keep posting! I feel bonded since we’re due around the same time. (And I’m also a completely overanalytical overresearcher. I think it’s kind of endearring though!) :)

    Good luck on the second test! I’m sure you’ll pass it with flying colors! I’m just sorry you have to sit through it!


  30. Lots of people fail the first test. I failed both test and had GD. I tried to manage it through diet alone, but my numbers were still too high. I had to inject myself in my belly at night, morning and after meals. I felt completely fine before and during the GD. After the baby was born, everything returned to normal for me, but they had to monitor the baby’s blood so had his heal pricked several times to check blood sugar. My second baby, I was just borderline. They monitored my food intake for a couple weeks and decided I was just fine since my numbers were normal. It was just that awful drink that made my sugar high. Who the hell drinks pure glucose on a regular basis? Anyway, the baby got the worst end of it on that one since I didn’t even have GD and yet they pricked his heel every hour for the first 3 hours and then 6 hours and then 12 hours. Poor little guy still has a scar on his heel from it.


  31. I had GD with my first pregnancy. I was able to keep it under control with diet. Amazingly, I actually lost some weight and only gained 20 lbs over the pregnancy. I did not have GD with my second pregnancy, but they had me go do the 3 hr glucose test. I passed that one. Take a good book and a pillow with you for the 3 hr test. Good luck!


  32. I had GD by a very narrow margin. I was told that the hospitals are dropping their cutoff lines and therefore many more women are being diagnosed with it. Anyway, I was devastated to find out that I had it, but it ended up being an inconvenience, not a problem. It meant less sugar, less bread and more meals. I also had many more appts with a variety of docs, but none of them were that interested in me because my sugar levels were always normal. Pricking my finger was a pain, but I got used to it and I think I learned a lot about sugar. During my pregnancy, we started making our own ice cream using 1/4 of the recommended sugar. It was great- still sweet and yummy. Now I realize that commercial ice cream is so over-sweetened that I can’t go back. Sometimes I felt irritated by the whole thing, but that was pretty much the extent of it. In the end, I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful 7 lb baby who was not abnormally large! I have not had any problems since then, although I still watch my sugar intake because I think pregnancy is sort of like a stress test. It brings out some of the physical weaknesses we have. Don’t fret, most likely you will be fine, either way the test goes.


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