Postpartum depression: it isn't just the blues

Am J Nurs. 2006 May;106(5):40-50; quiz 50-1. doi: 10.1097/00000446-200605000-00020.


Postpartum depression is a crippling mood disorder, historically neglected in health care, leaving mothers to suffer in fear, confusion, and silence. Undiagnosed it can adversely affect the mother-infant relationship and lead to long-term emotional problems for the child. This article differentiates postpartum depression from other postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and addresses these aspects of postpartum depression: symptoms, prevalence, risk factors, interventions, and the effects on relationships and child development. Instruments available to screen for postpartum depression are also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy / nursing
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / physiopathology
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mass Screening / instrumentation
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Maternal-Child Nursing / methods
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Self-Help Groups


  • Antidepressive Agents