"There's potential that women who need to get legitimate psychiatric help may look to this pill and not get the appropriate help they need," said Streicher.
While the blues are normal and almost to be expected, it's important to understand the difference between blues and depression. The baby blues are common in new mothers; the combination of hormonal transition and sleep deprivation contributes to mood swings and feelings of sadness. Forty to 80 percent of women will suffer from the blues right after giving birth, but the feelings generally subside two weeks post-baby.
Postpartum depression may appear as the blues at first, but the sadness and anxiety will continue beyond the typical few weeks and will often become more intense with time. Symptoms include loss of appetite, insomnia, severe mood swings and even thoughts of suicide or harming the baby. If a new mom suffers from the blues for several weeks after giving birth, Streicher said these women should get mental health treatment as soon as possible.
But as for the baby blues, Streicher said, "The blues are transient in nature. If someone has postpartum blues, [new moms] don't need this stuff. It's going to go away on its own."
To figure out the validity of a placenta's medicinal benefits, "you'd want a trial with one group of women going about their usual business, another following general-advice diet and vitamin supplements, and a third group that takes the placenta," said Katz. "Right now, we don't have the evidence to see if this is better than alternatives."