Predicting and Identifying Postpartum Blues may be the key to implementing Preventive Approaches in Perinatal Mental Health: Findings from a Prospective, follow up Study in India
Keywords:maternity blues, post-partum, maternal mental health
Objective: The present study aimed to estimate the prevalence of post-partum blues and investigate the correlates of
the disorder. An additional objective was to study the correlation of blues with subsequent development of psychiatric
Methods: A prospective study design was adopted and a total of 73 women were included. Those who developed
maternity blues were compared with those who hadn’t on multiple socio-demographic, obstetric, psychiatric and psychosocial
Results: The prevalence of post-partum blues was estimated to be 28.8 %. Of the women with blues 14.2% went on to
develop post-partum depression whereas none of the women who had not experienced blues developed depression. It
was found that there was a significant correlation between post-partum blues and the following variables in decreasing
order of significance: poor marital quality, pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder, past history of psychiatric illness, higher
scores on stressful life events in the past one year, fear of labour and upcoming events, perinatal complications to the
mother, unplanned pregnancy and family history of psychiatric illness.
Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of post-partum blues as these women are at higher risk of developing
post-partum depression. Psycho-social variables that can contribute to the development of blues such as stressful events
experienced during pregnancy and poor marital quality should be assessed and interventions planned accordingly to
reduce the impact of these on women.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Sreyoshi Ghosh, Sripathy Bhat
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