News Release

Addressing stress and postpartum symptoms early may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes

Reports and Proceedings

The Endocrine Society

Addressing stress early on in postpartum women who recently experienced gestational diabetes might help curb an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, according to research being presented Sunday, June 12 at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

“Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been shown to increase the risk for postpartum depressive symptoms, or the “maternity blues,” which can limit women’s ability to practice healthy behaviors,” said Jennifer Dias, B.A., a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, N.Y.

Dias, whose clinical research areas of focus include pregnancy complications and gestational diabetes, worked with colleagues to identify key factors associated with depressive symptoms following childbirth among women with recent gestational diabetes (GDM) from the Balance after Baby Intervention study.

The two-year study for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in women with GDM was performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., and the University of Colorado Hospital and Denver Health Medical Center in Aurora, Colo. The study included 181 women between 2016 and 2019.

Data reveal 19% of women scored >9 on the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale and 53% of women scored >14 on the Perceived Stress Scale at the postpartum visit.

Perceived stress was associated with postpartum depressive symptoms.

“To help address postpartum depressive symptoms, it may be important to provide support to decrease perceived stress,” Dias said.

The Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline on Diabetes and Pregnancy recommends all women who have had gestational diabetes receive counseling on lifestyle measures to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a plan for future pregnancies and regular diabetes screening, especially before any future pregnancies.

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