Essay on Postpartum Blues Vs Depression

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Post-partum depression is commonly known to be one of the main difficulties with maternity and childbirth (Jones, 2017). Many women commonly do not realize they suffer from this debilitating illness and can often go months even years without seeking treatment. This illness can be viewed with extreme variations, ranging from ‘baby blues’ to psychosis (Degner, 2017). Understanding the different symptoms and the severity of each symptom plays an important role in recognizing and treating each woman and in turn encouraging a positive and healthy relationship between mother and child (Andersson et al., 2016). This study will discuss, in part, the signs and symptoms of ‘Baby Blues and Postpartum depression and how they can be assessed.


Nearly half of all women will experience some form of ‘baby blues’ after giving birth (Bass and Bauer, 2018). According to (Stewart and Vigod, 2019), postpartum depression often shares some of its symptoms with non-perinatal depression. These symptoms may include a single or a combination of the following, general depressed mood, loss of interest in daily activities, loss of concentration, fatigue, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness (Stewart and Vigod, 2019). Postpartum depression, symptoms may influence the mother's mental and physical health and can pose a threat to the child’s health.

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(Steward and Simone, 2016) states that the mood disorder known as ‘Baby Blues’ does not have a serious impact on the mother’s health and does not have any manic or psychotic symptoms. Because there are no severe symptoms, it can often be referred to as a result of hormonal changes that the mother experiences after childbirth (Rosenberg, Greening, and Windell, 2003). In most cases, these symptoms begin to dissipate on their own within a 2-3 week period, although in rare cases, it may begin to develop into postpartum depression (Steward and Simone, 2016). Even though this illness poses a significant threat to life, there is no definitive way to test for postpartum depression, though there is an assessment tool that some healthcare professionals use to detect this illness (Howard et al., 2014). This 10-item self-report scale is known as the ‘(EPDS) Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale’ (Cox, 1987), as referenced by (Howard et al., 2014). This report allows the assessor to evaluate the mother sensitively and also assess the severity of the symptoms. Because this tool is not 100% accurate in diagnosing postpartum depression, misdiagnoses can still occur (Parker et al., 2014).


Although the condition ‘Baby Blues’ can be seen as a hormonal condition, it can develop into a more serious mental illness. It is also evident that all new mothers should be aware of their thoughts and feelings and express them freely. In addition, even though there is no clear way of determining if a woman is suffering from postpartum depression, the (EPDS) is a useful tool for healthcare professionals to assess the woman before her condition worsens and affects her relationship with her baby and her life.


    1. Andersson, E., Hildingsson, I., Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för, h. and Avdelningen för, o. (2016) 'Mother's postnatal stress: an investigation of links to various factors during pregnancy and post‐partum', Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 30(4), pp. 782-789.
    2. Bass, P. F. and Bauer, N. S. (2018) 'Parental postpartum depression: More than 'baby blues'', Contemporary Pediatrics, 35(9), pp. 35-38.
    3. Cox, J.L., Holden, J.M. and Sagovsky, R. (1987). Detection of postnatal depression: development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 150(6), pp.782-786.
    4. Degner, D. (2017) 'Differentiating between 'baby blues,' severe depression, and psychosis', BMJ (Clinical research ed.), Journal Article, 359, pp. j4692.
    5. Howard, L. M. P., Molyneaux, E. M., Dennis, C.-L. P., Rochat, T. P., Stein, A. P. and Milgrom, J. P. (2014) 'Non-psychotic mental disorders in the perinatal period', Lancet, The, 384(9956), pp. 1775-1788.
    6. Jones, I. (2017) 'Post-partum depression—a glimpse of light in the darkness?', Lancet, The, 390(10093), pp. 434-435.
    7. Parker, G. B., Hegarty, B., Paterson, A., Hadzi-Pavlovic, D., Granville-Smith, I. and Gokiert, A. (2014) 'Predictors of post-natal depression are shaped distinctly by the measure of ‘depression’', Journal of Affective Disorders, 173, pp. 239-244.
    8. Rosenberg, R., Greening, D. E. and Windell, J. (2003) Conquering postpartum depression: a proven plan for recovery. 1st Da Capo Press pbk. ed. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
    9. Stewart, D.E. and Simone, V. (2016). Postpartum Depression. The New England Journal of Medicine, 375(22), pp. 2177-2186.
    10. Stewart, D. E. and Vigod, S. N. (2019) 'Postpartum Depression: Pathophysiology, Treatment, and Emerging Therapeutics', Annual Review of Medicine, 70(1), pp. 183-196.
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