Window of Opportunity: Postpartum Screening of Women with Gestational Diabetes for Early Detection of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes

Cassandra E. Henderson, Jan Kavookjian, Harris Leitstein, June M. McKoy, Wambui Jane Murage, Ruth D. Lipman*
American Association of Diabetes Educators, 200 W. Madison Street, Suite 800, Chicago, Il 60606, USA.

E. Henderson et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the American Association of Diabetes Educators, 200 W. Madison Street, Suite 800, Chicago, Il 60606, USA. Tel: 312-601-4854; Fax: 312-424-2426; E-mail:


Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by glucose intolerance during pregnancy, with defined approaches for screening, treatment, and follow-up. It is associated with a variety of adverse birth outcomes, including excessive fetal weight gain and related increases in the rate of cesarean delivery and perinatal injury as well as increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes for women who have had gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes may also be a manifestation of pre-existing type 2 diabetes. Nonetheless, a substantial proportion of women with a history of gestational diabetes fail to receive the recommended postpartum glucose screening. This failure to conduct follow-up screening of women with gestational diabetes after delivery represents a missed opportunity for earlier diagnosis of diabetes, and chance to increase the awareness of women of their future risk for developing diabetes. This paper explores the barriers contributing to the lack in follow-up screening and makes recommendations about addressing these problems.

Keywords: Barriers, gestational diabetes, screening.