Maternity blues

About 50 per cent of mothers experience irritability, lability of mood, and tearfulness following delivery, maximal at about 4 days, and tending gradually to resolve by about day 10. Such symptoms may be considered normal in the sense of being extremely common; however, they can cause considerable distress to the patient and family, and there is evidence of a weak linkage with psychiatric disorder. This is an appropriate subject for prenatal education, and supportive care from family, midwife, and GP. If the syndrome fails to resolve, mental health services may be required.

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