Moms at risk for postpartum diabetes often aren’t tested

Pregnancy triggers a cascade of changes in a woman’s body, including, in some cases, a special form of diabetes. Gestational diabetes — which causes high blood sugar during pregnancy — can lead to health problems for mom and baby. But even after giving birth, the risk persists.

More than half of women with gestational diabetes develop Type 2 diabetes, usually within 10 years of giving birth. But a new study from Washington University reports only a fraction of low-income women in Missouri who develop diabetes during pregnancy are retested after having a baby.

Cynthia Herrick, M.D., one of the study co-authors, says gestational diabetes tends to be more common among racial and ethnic minorities — and, if left untreated, can cause serious complications during pregnancy.

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