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Gestational Diabetes

The majority of healthy women can expect to have an uncomplicated pregnancy, to begin labour naturally and to give birth to a healthy baby. However, the increasing medicalisation of both pregnancy and birth has resulted in huge changes in women’s experience of having a baby. Women are often unaware that they have the right to be given information on the risks and benefits of every procedure and test they are asked to undergo during pregnancy and to choose whether or not they will have it.

Over the past few decades pregnancy has become a nine-month obstacle race in which women are faced with making decisions about an increasing number of tests and procedures. Screening for gestational diabetes is one of them.

 This pamphlet provides you with evidence-based information about gestational diabetes (GDM). Information in the pamphlet covers:

  •  What GDM is
  • The process of screening for GDM
  •  The disadvantages of having a single test
  •  Treating GDM
  •  An outline of the differing opinions on gestational diabetes
  •  The risks of overdiagnosis
  •  How to minimise the risks.

Before you give consent to being screened or tested for gestational diabetes it is important that you are aware of and understand the risks, benefits and possible consequences of the tests you are being encouraged to undergo. While screening for gestational diabetes has become a routine part of pregnancy care, the definition of this condition has recently been widened and there is now a risk of many pregnant women being overdiagnosed and having their birth managed in a way that would not have occurred had they not been labelled as having gestational diabetes.

Remember, you have the right to choose whether or not to be tested for gestational diabetes.

 If you would like to receive a copy of our pamphlet – a single copy is available free of charge – or wish to order copies for your practice, then please contact us at mscc@maternity.org.nz or download a copy of our order form from our website. Please note there is a charge for ordering multiple copies of this series of pamphlets; the charge depends on how many you order.