It’s been long debated whether the presence of baby blues is a predictor for postpartum depression. The results of a recent study, — “Maternity blues as a predictor of DSM-IV depression and anxiety disorders in the first three months postpartum” by Reck, Stehle, Reinig, & Mundt — of German women found a significant association between baby blues and postpartum depression as well as baby blues and postpartum anxiety disorders.
I do have one concern about a limitation of the study, which assessed the presences of baby blues retrospectively at 2 weeks postpartum, which, as we know, is the cut-off point for the diagnosis of postpartum depression. This could be a complicating factor when assessing the sample.
However their conclusion stands sound: “Women with maternity blues should be carefully observed in the first weeks postpartum with the aim of identifying those at risk of developing postpartum depression/anxiety disorders and providing treatment at an early stage of the disorder.”
citation: J Affect Disord. 2008 Jun 21.