Postnatal Testing

Postnatal testing is helpful in screening for a variety of health concerns post birth. Clinical Labs offer tests to screen for type 2 diabetes in women who have had gestational diabetes and thyroid dysfunction in women who have had thyroid disorders during pregnancy.


Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

If the mother was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, her blood glucose levels will be measured for a few days after her baby is born to make sure they are within the recommended range. Glucose checking times are usually before breakfast and two hours after meals. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is done 6-12 weeks after the baby is born to check that the diabetes has gone away.

While maternal blood glucose levels usually return to normal after birth, there is an increased risk of the woman developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The baby may also be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Depending on risk factors, the mother will also need to be tested for type 2 diabetes again every one to three years.


Thyroid Function Testing (TFT)

There has recently been greater interest in thyroid function tests during pregnancy. During the first trimester, high levels of hCG can have a TSH-like effect on the thyroid gland. This causes a lower TSH during pregnancy and most laboratories now have specific reference ranges for TSH in pregnancy.

Thyroid dysfunction affects 2–3% of pregnant women and can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. As a result, women should be assessed during and after pregnancy for any adverse thyroid conditions. In Grave’s disease, TSH receptor antibodies can cross the placenta and cause fetal issues and post-partum thyroid dysfunction in the baby.

Women with thyroid disorders in pregnancy should be followed up by their GP in the postpartum period as postpartum thyroiditis may present months after delivery.


If further information regarding testing is required, or you need to discuss a patient, please contact:
Assoc. Prof. Mirette Saad on P: (03) 9538 6777 or E: