Symptoms can be different for different patients and usually show up within one year of childbirth. Maternity blues include emotional liability, irritability, mood swings, sleeplessness, sudden urge to cry and anxiety. These resolve spontaneously requiring no medication. These symptoms occur in varying degrees in most of the new mothers.
Along with above symptoms, there is a general loss of interest in daily activities along with a feeling of hopelessness so that it can be classified as Postpartum depression. Here the severity is more and along with these symptoms new mothers get thoughts of harming their babies, total lack of interest in baby and other negative thoughts. There may be loss of appetite and weight. Feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth will be prominent. In some cases onset maybe rapid and progressive.
Psychosis may occur in women with previous history of manic disorders. There is complete loss of contact with reality . Delusions, hallucinations along with thoughts of killing might be there. Disorientation and confusion is marked. False ideas of new born baby being evil or deformed may be there as a result a want to kill may arise. This is a medical emergency which requires prompt treatment.
Diagnosis cannot be reached by a single test. Diagnosis is done by a thorough medical, family and mental history. Complete assessment of patient’s background is done. Laboratory tests may be done to detect any hormonal imbalance .
Postpartum psychosis should be differentiated from maternity blues as the former affects daily functioning and can prove to be dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
Treatment is an integration of physical, psychological, social and medical therapies. Hospitalisation should be done for potentially sucidal, severely depressed patients and in mania .
Medications along with psychotherapy prove useful and are the only treatment in most cases. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are given which are known to have lesser side effects. Hormone replacement therapy is given along with the above medications.
Counselling for both mother and partner go a long way in the treatment. Opportunities to express should be given to patients thus enabling to resolve minor episodes of depression. Reassurance along with family and social support helps the new mother to adjust to the changes in her life .
Patients with Postpartum depression have higher chances of getting some form of depression again at some point in their life. Relapse of this condition is very common. Children born to women with postpartum depression have a tendency to behavioural problems and difficult relationships.
Numerous factors play a role in the etiology, but it varies from individual to individual. Social and psychological factors are known to play an important role, but there is no specific cause.
The most common theories postulated are:
Coping with a newborn baby is physically, emotionally and mentally taxing for a new mother. Thus, interplay of above factors is supposed to be responsible for postpartum depression. There are a number of risk factors, women with previous history of depression, perinatal depression, premenstrual syndrome, birth related physiological or psychological trauma and poor family or marital relations.
Although perinatal depression occurs, postpartum depression is more common. All over the globe, approximately 9-15% of women will experience postpartum depression. 
One in eight women will experience some form of depression post childbirth. Maternity blues occurs in 65 -90% of childbearing women. Severe types occur once in every 500-1000 births.
Postpartum depression is higher among poorer sections, teen pregnancies and women with poor family support. Depression occurs in fathers in about 1-25% cases. 
Extreme physiological changes occur in a woman during pregnancy and childbirth. The exact pathogenesis is not known but hormonal irregularities along with abnormalities in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have been implicated.
Oestrogen and progesterone are steroid hormones derived from common fatty acids. Along with their reproductive function, they also display potent neuroregulatory effects, especially on mood and cognition. Irregularities in HPA axis also contribute to this condition.
Hormones have a striking effect on the HPA axis causing mood changes. The HPA under normal circumstances responds to stress and trauma by releasing cortisol along with negative feedback mechanisms, but in cases with severe depression the HPA axis reacts abnormally. Thus, the resulting inability to respond to periods of stress and trauma forms one of the most important biological finding in postpartum depression.
Early diagnosis along with intervention helps prevent PPD. Patients with high risk factors should be educated about this medical condition. Counselling and support groups can also help.Homevisits along with family support  help reduce anxiety in new mothers.
Postpartum depression is a subtype of clinical depression which occurs to women after childbirth. The main trigger factor for this condition is childbirth. The onset of postpartum depression is within 4 weeks after delivery . The severity of symptoms and duration determines the type of depression.
Postpartum depression can affect normal functioning and have serious adverse effects on both the mother and the family. The symptoms range from mild to severe psychosis. Usually, every new mother will experience a certain level of anxiety, irritability, and sensitivity and mood changes post-delivery. These all resolve within 2-3 weeks, without any specific treatment. A more severe type of depression occurs late, often many weeks after childbirth, which is usually characterized by sadness, fatigue and depression. Recovery is within few months .
Postpartum depression is a common type of depression which occurs after childbirth. Depression can happen anytime during pregnancy but post childbirth is more common. About 15% women are affected, with this condition being more common in poorer people and broken families.
For a new mother, maternity blues are perfectly normal and usually settle down within a few days. This does not affect daily functioning of the mother. Hormonal changes are the supposed cause but the exact cause still remains unknown.
Normally, after having a baby, a woman will go through severe emotional turmoil along with mood swings, anxiety, sleeping disorders and concentration problems. There is no need to worry as they settle on their own without any treatment.
In case the severity as well as the duration of symptoms is greater, immediate attention needs to be given. Here symptoms can occur anytime from childbirth till one year of postpartum. Along with severe baby blue symptoms, patient may have negative thoughts towards the baby. Suicidal thoughts may prevail. The ability and desire to care for infant may be hampered.
Knowledge of risk factors is important for timely prevention. High risk factors include women with history of depression, depression during pregnancy, difficult pregnancies, poor family relations and various other factors.
The medical health provider will take a complete history of the patient, and after complete evaluation the treatment plan suiting the patient will be adopted. Anti-depressants are the medications of choice.
Counselling in the form of psychotherapy is very useful. Alternative modes of treatment like homeopathy or naturopathy might help. Family and social groups help the patients to come out of this condition. New mothers should take time out to relax, other than only tending to the baby. Good nutritious food along with exercise keeps the mother alert and fit.
There is no need for the patient to feel ashamed of the symptoms or guilty and it is best to consult a physician as soon as possible. Postpartum depression in does not indicate that the lady is a bad mother but it is a common condition.
If left untreated, it can interfere with normal functioning of mother. Thus, timely intervention will help the mother enjoy the bliss of motherhood.