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November 1981

'Maternity Blues' in East African Clinic Attenders

Author Affiliations

From the Muhimbili Medical Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Dr Harris is now with the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(11):1293-1295. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780360109013

• It has long been recognized that most mothers experience a transient depressive mood swing within ten days of delivery. Studies have largely been in women from developed countries, and it is of interest to know whether the phenomenon is culture bound or supracultural in its manifestation. A retrospective study of "maternity blues" in 50 East African mothers seen within two to 16 weeks of delivery showed that despite a radically different culture, the incidence resembled that of developed countries. Of 38 mothers who experienced maternity blues, 21 had tearfulness and 14 had somatic features of anxiety.

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