Gestational Diabetes & Postpartum Depression: More Than The Baby Blues 

There is evidence that mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes have an elevated risk of developing postpartum depression symptoms.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop in the late stages of pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs most frequently among Black, Latina, and American Indian women. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had gestational diabetes has a 20 to 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the next five to 10 years. She’s also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Every year, 2 to 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes.

Postpartum depression symptoms are experienced by 10-15 percent of women after childbirth. Postpartum depression is much more severe than the “baby blues”—a term used to describe the feelings of worry, unhappiness, and fatigue that many women experience after having a baby. Baby blues, which affect up to 80 percent of mothers, include feelings that are somewhat mild, last a week or two and go away on their own. Mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping are other symptoms of the “baby blues.”

With postpartum depression, feelings of sadness and anxiety can be extreme and might interfere with a woman’s ability to care for herself or her family. Because of the severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression usually