In the car on the way to your doctor's appointment is a great time to drink some of the 64 ounces of fluid you need to drink each day. At each of your prenatal visits, you'll be provided with a cup and a bathroom and asked to produce a urine sample. Once you hand the cup over to the nurse, they will dip a stick in it to test your sugar and protein levels, and you'll be given the results of the test immediately if they're unusual.
Some extra sugar in your urine is normal during pregnancy, but too much appearing two visits in a row may indicate gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a common condition for pregnant women, and can be confirmed with a glucose screen (a blood test taken an hour after drinking a special sugar solution).
When your body is unable to generate or process enough insulin, the hormone that your pancreas uses to turn sugar into fuel, diabetes develops. Since babies increase the demand on their mother's insulin supply, many expectant mothers develop diabetes and need to control it with diet and exercise or medication throughout their pregnancy. Although gestational diabetes is rare and disappears after delivery, it is the most common complication of pregnancy. And unfortunately, half of the women who have gestational diabetes go on to develop full-fledged diabetes within the next 20 years.
The presence of excess protein in urine samples is relatively rare; however, it can be a symptom of preeclampsia. Other symptoms include high blood pressure and excessive swelling or very rapid weight gain in the second half of your pregnancy. Preeclampsia can restrict the flow of blood to the placenta, and therefore, food and oxygen to your baby. If you have too much protein in your urine, your doctor may put you on bedrest. Bedrest will lower your blood pressure and ensure your placenta receives all the blood it needs, and lying on your left side can further improve the flow of blood to your uterus and kidneys. If bedrest alone doesn't lower your blood pressure, your doctor may suggest early delivery.
Fortunately, there is probably no need for you to worry about gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. Just make sure you are drinking enough liquid and getting to your doctor's office on time!