Most of you are aware that I am pregnant with our second baby. Although I would say that I went against the flow when I was pregnant with Julian, I have learned so much more since having him, which means that I am going even more against the flow this time around. We were really hoping to have a home birth with this baby, but it just did not work out that way. This pregnancy I am seeking the care of the local midwifery practice, following a fairly strict diet and regularly exercising. I am not consenting to any of the typical prenatal tests that are routine for prenatal care. The reason for this is a post in and of itself, but it is sufficient to say that I have done my own research and come to the decisions that we have made through prayer and careful study. For the most part, the midwives I am seeing have been accommodating to my desires. The exception to that lies with the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).
According to the Mayo Clinic, The OGTT is an oral test most commonly administered during pregnancy that measures the body’s response to sugar. This test is done in order to observe abnormalities in the way your body handles glucose after a meal. Since there is not way to control what an individual eats, the medical community has adopted the standard of care to have women drink Glucola in order to test their blood sugar levels. According to the ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology), women at risk for gestational diabetes tend to present the following:
- are older than 25 years
- are overweight
- have had gestational diabetes before
- have had a very large baby
- have a close relative with diabetes
- have had a stillbirth in a previous pregnancy
- are African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic, Latina, or Pacific Islander
The standard of care at the practice that I attend is to have pregnant women take the one hour GTT at twelve weeks and twenty-eight weeks. I declined the test at twelve weeks with no issues from my midwives. Since then, however, they have been pressuring me to take the test at twenty-eight weeks. I am planning on continuing to refuse the test given that I meet none of the risk factors. This has not seemed to be enough for my midwives to let up on the pressure they are putting on me to take the test, so I set out to find out exactly what is in the Glucola. We eat a clean diet (I would say 85-90% of the time), free of GMO’s, food dyes and factory farmed meat and dairy products, among other things. We don’t eat perfect (as evidenced by the piece of pizza I bought at the mall on Friday!), but even when I deviate from our norm, I make sure that there are not any GMO’s or food dyes in what I am going to eat. Given that the Glucola is BRIGHT orange, I figured there would be something in there that I did not want to put in my body and I was right.
In a bottle of the 50 mL Glucola solution, the following is found: water, dextrose, natural flavoring, citric acid, sodium benzoate, FD&C yellow 6 and FD&C red 40. Chemical cocktail, if there ever was one! Both dextrose and citric acid are often derived from corn, which, in the US, is 88% infiltrated by GMO crops. Natural flavoring can literally mean anything, including MSG. Sodium benzoate is a preservative, which has been linked to all sorts of diseases ranging from Parkinson’s to leukemia. Both FD&C red 40 and FD&C yellow 6 contain known carcinogens and FD&C red 40 has been linked to DNA damage in rats.
Needless to say, after doing this research, I will continue to decline the OGTT at my midwive’s office. While I cannot say that this is the best choice for you to make, I know that I am making the right, informed choice for the health of myself and my unborn child.
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