Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) refers to impaired glucose metabolism during pregnancy. This condition increases the new mother’s risk of developing postpartum depression symptoms, shows a new Finnish study report.

Mothers with GDM often have very high blood glucose levels, and this increases the risk of various adverse effects on the foetus. Moreover, GDM increases the mother’s risk of developing type2 diabetes later in life.

Postpartum depression symptoms are experienced by 10-15 per cent of mothers after childbirth. The new findings, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, showed postpartum depression symptoms observed in 16 per cent of mothers diagnosed with GDM, and in approximately nine per cent of mothers without GDM.

The study used 1,066 mothers as subjects that had no previous mental health issues.

Research evidence is scarce regarding the possible effects of GDM on postpartum depression symptoms, and the new Finnish study is an essential contribution to this emerging area of research.