Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 1665–1672 | Cite as

Factors Associated with Depressive Symptoms in the Early Postpartum Period Among Women with Recent Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

  • Jacinda M. Nicklas
  • Laura J. Miller
  • Chloe A. Zera
  • Roger B. Davis
  • Sue E. Levkoff
  • Ellen W. Seely


Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have a substantial risk of subsequently developing type 2 diabetes. This risk may be mitigated by engaging in healthy eating, physical activity, and weight loss when indicated. Since postpartum depressive symptoms may impair a woman’s ability to engage in lifestyle changes, we sought to identify factors associated with depressive symptoms in the early postpartum period among women with recent GDM. The participants are part of the baseline cohort of the TEAM GDM (Taking Early Action for Mothers with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) study, a one-year randomized trial of a lifestyle intervention program for women with a recent history of GDM, conducted in Boston, Massachusetts between June 2010 and September 2012. We administered the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 4–15 weeks postpartum to women whose most recent pregnancy was complicated by GDM (confirmed by laboratory data or medical record review). An EPDS score ≥9 indicated depressive symptoms. We measured height and thyroid stimulating hormone, and administered a questionnaire to collect demographic data and information about breastfeeding and sleep. We calculated body mass index (BMI) using self-reported pre-pregnancy weight and measured height. We reviewed medical records to obtain data about medical history, including history of depression, mode of delivery, and insulin use during pregnancy. We conducted bivariable analyses to identify correlates of postpartum depressive symptoms, and then modeled the odds of postpartum depressive symptoms using multivariable logistic regression. Our study included 71 women (mean age 33 years ± 5; 59 % White, 28 % African-American, 13 % Asian, with 21 % identifying as Hispanic; mean pre-pregnancy BMI 30 kg/m2 ± 6). Thirty-four percent of the women scored ≥9 on the EPDS at the postpartum visit. In the best fit model, factors associated with depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum included cesarean delivery (aOR 4.32, 95 % CI 1.46, 13.99) and gestational weight gain (aOR 1.21 [1.02, 1.46], for each additional 5 lbs gained). Use of insulin during pregnancy, breastfeeding, personal history of depression, and lack of a partner were not retained in the model. Identifying factors associated with postpartum depression in women with GDM is important since depression may interfere with lifestyle change efforts in the postpartum period. In this study, cesarean delivery and greater gestational weight gain were correlated with postpartum depressive symptoms among women with recent GDM ( NCT01158131).


Postpartum depression Gestational diabetes Diabetes prevention Cesarean delivery Gestational weight gain 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacinda M. Nicklas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laura J. Miller
    • 3
  • Chloe A. Zera
    • 4
  • Roger B. Davis
    • 1
  • Sue E. Levkoff
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Ellen W. Seely
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of General Medicine and Primary CareBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and HypertensionBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  5. 5.Division of Women’s Health, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Global Health and Social MedicineHarvard MedicalBostonUSA
  7. 7.College of Social WorkUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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