Query: Post-Partum Depression in the Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Centuries

One of our H-Madness subscribers has the following query. Replies can be made either in the comments section or by responding via email.

I am currently working on a study of treatment of the mentally ill in New England/United States during the period 1870-1940. While I am quite familiar with secondary sources on the general topic, I’m hoping someone in H-Madness can help with this question:
Has anyone come across a narrative history of the treatment of what we would today call post-partum depression in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries?  I’m specifically looking for material on the US but secondary studies of western European nations would also be helpful.



Suzanne K. McCormack, PhD
Professor of History
Dept of Social Sciences
Community College of Rhode Island

4 thoughts on “Query: Post-Partum Depression in the Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Centuries

  1. Jonathan Sadowsky says:

    Try Rachel Louise Moran at the University of North Texas. She is working on the history of PPD and may know what’s available for your period.

  2. rachellouisemoran says:

    Period medical journals have some interesting narratives, though only from a clinician perspective of course, for puerperal madness/mania in the early 20th century. Send me an email for cites. I can’t think of much from a patient’s perspective in these years, but it’s also mostly earlier than I’m working.

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