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Seeking Hospital Midwife: Glucola not required.

We recently received an email from a mama, new to Portland, who has a specific request for her natural hospital childbirth experience:

I am looking for a Midwife that delivers in Hospitals that does not require the Glucola drinking for the glucose tolerance test. I am hoping to find one that is open to using the jelly beans or a specific meal instead. I know there are great birth center and homebirth Midwives that do this, but I was hoping someone might be able to reccommend a Hospital Midwife that does also. After 3 horrible experiences with the Glucola, I am hoping to avoid it this time.

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I don't know about the specifics of the tests, but I do know the Legacy Midwifery clinic has midwives who deliver in the hospital. There is also a midwife at Women's Health Today who delivers at Providence. You could call either place and ask.

I went to a regular ol' obgyn and she had me do the jelly beans after I threw up the glucola during my first pregnancy. For my second pregnancy we went straight to the jelly beans and I threw up those, too. She didn't have me take a test after that. It wasn't a problem. Hopefully, you will find someone who is a little more compassionate. I don't know of any midwives, but good luck.

I am a physician and I don't think your problem with glucola should be a barrier to your care- this is a common thing, the glucose load is hard for some people. There are other ways to screen for diabetes including jelly beans and a couple of fasting glucoses if necessary based on your risk factors. I would figure out which practice looks the best for you and bring it up when you see them the first time.

I'm sure that if you explained your prior history any midwife group would work with you to avoid drinking the glucola. I had a WONDERFUL COMPLETELY NATURAL CHILDBIRTH at Legacy Emanuel, with the midwifery group (Kathie was my midwife). I always recommend hiring a doula from Mother Tree Birth Services for both labor and post partum. Good luck!

I'm not sure about the glucola test, but I delivered naturally twice with the midwives at OHSU. I had amazing care, fantastic support and always felt like my care was specific to me. They can be reached at the Center for Women's Health at OHSU. Good luck!

You can decline the test altogether (or any prenatal test for that matter). That's what I did after my fasting glucose was normal-low.

I have heard of many people who do jellybeans instead, even with the hospital ob-gyn's. good luck.


I am a doula and I used to work in an OB/Gyn office. We saw several mom's whave problems with the Glucola. It was never a huge issue. We had one mom who tried another test ( I think it was the jelly beans) one other took a random glucose test and one mom just decided to follow a low carb (diabetice type) diet. I also second the fact that you can decline any testing. If you don't want to rock the boat too much, just talk with your caregiver or different caregivers.

My midwife (an independently practicing CNM) allowed me to have a choice between the liquid and the jellybeans. I picked jellybeans!

Her name is Catherine Schaefer at A Gentle Beginning.

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