Screening for postpartum depression

Postpartum depression, also known as the "baby blues" is extremely common following the birth of a new baby. A combination of factors contribute including hormonal changes, fatigue, and the stress of having a new baby in the home. Some estimates put the incidence of depression at 10% with the incidence of "baby blues" much higher. Fortunately milder symptoms often resolve quickly with rest, time and family support. More severe symptoms can be quite serious and affect early attachment with the newborn and persist for a significant amount of time. Postpartum depression is a real and a very serious disease and if present the mother should discuss with her obstetrician to discuss treatment options.