“The Baby Blues.” – There are sound scientific grounds for believing that the nervous system after delivery is more sensitive than at other times. Even if this were not so, it would be surprising if this long-anticipated event of childbirth, so epoch-making to the young woman, so far-reaching in its ramifications, did not occasionally evoke profound emotional responses. Most common among such reactions, perhaps, is what is colloquially called the “Baby Blues.” About the time that everything is going perfectly in the puerperium, with mother and baby both flourishing and everybody happy, the mother, for no accountable reason, bursts into a good, long cry. Nothing can stop her; persuasion is futile; she simply continues to sob and weep for a good half hour. When the episode is over, she can offer no explanation, “It just came over me, “ she says. Such reactions rarely recur and following them the mother usually feels much better. In view of all that has taken place during the past nine months, it requires no psychiatrist to interpret episodes of this kind, but simply an understanding heart.” [bold added].
How difficult it must have been to have PPD considered rare and requiring nothing but an understanding heart! Today it is recognized as a risk of childbirth and hopefully discussed with mothers-to-be and their families. There are more treatment options and support available while healing and getting back to “normal”. I would encourage mothers and daughters to share not only the best parts of pregnancy and childbirth, but also if they had PPD, to discuss it openly and honestly and take steps to deal with it if it should occur. We are not “bad” mothers, but mothers with an illness that can be cured.