Eating blueberries has been linked to lowering the risk of many health issues, from certain types of cancer to age-related memory loss, but new research indicates that they may also have benefits for new mothers by lowering the incidence of postpartum depression.
The so-called “baby blues” (known clinically as postpartum blues or PPB) are a healthy range of sad feelings that occur in women that have just given birth, and tend to peak on the fifth day after delivering. Those that experience severe symptoms are at a higher risk for then developing postpartum depression (PPD).
The study involved a group of 41 new mothers, a group of whom were given a dietary supplement that contained blueberry juice with blueberry extract, and a control group who did not receive the supplement. The group that received the supplement showed a dramatically lower level of sadness on day five after giving birth than the control group not receiving the supplement.
The results of the study were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) journal, and while they are preliminary, they appear to indicate that the consumption of blueberries immediately after giving birth may lessen the risk of developing postpartum depression.