Jelly beans as an alternative to the glucose drink for the prenatal glucose challenge

At some point in your second trimester (around 24 weeks), your doctor will likely schedule you for a glucose tolerance test to make sure your blood sugar is in control and there is no risk of gestational diabetes. Typically, this test involves drinking a beverage with 50g of glucose, waiting 1 hour then drawing your blood to determine if your blood sugar/blood glucose is within a normal range.

The problem is that this glucose beverage is loaded with artificial colors and harmful preservatives including sodium benzoate and in my past pregnancies has left me feeling dizzy, nauseous and with a nasty headache.  And since my 4 year old has an especially sensitive and not so pleasant reaction to artificial colors and preservatives, I don't see why I would unnecessarily introduce this to myself and my baby.

So 1 week before my scheduled test, I called my doctor's office, asked about an alternative and was put on hold...

The nurse came back after speaking with an endocrinologist and I was told I could bring in 20 jelly beans to consume in the office instead.

The morning of the test I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up the artificial color and preservative-free jelly beans in their bulk section.

10 minutes after consuming the jelly beans I felt a lot of movement from the baby and a little sugar buzz, but nothing compared to the yucky feelings from the glucola.

My doctor came in to see me and said "I was wondering if/when this jelly bean thing would catch on" and confirmed that she has seen legit studies confirming that jelly beans are an equal and just as "effective" alternative to the glucola.

I'm glad I asked!

Alternately, you could ask your doctor about doing glucose monitoring on your own and avoid the sugar rush all together.  Either way, I would suggest taking some measure to ensure your glucose levels are in check.  No matter how healthy your diet, pregnancy can do crazy things to our bodies and elevated blood sugar levels can negatively affect the baby at birth and beyond...better safe than sorry!

Any thoughts on the matter or alternatives you've tried?  Do share!


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