The postpartum blues syndrome is explored and a theoretical framework for understanding the phenomenon is provided. Stressors of the puerperium are outlined. Crisis intervention and healthy coping behaviors are examined. A conceptual model of maternal adaptation illustrates how the health care professional may assist the family in the development of growth potential. A table lists the frequent stressors experienced in the puerperium. The nurse-midwife's role of assisting the family through this postpartum disequilibrium period is examined. How the present health care system complicates postpartum follow-up is discussed. Intervention methods and tools for utilization by the nurse-midwife are presented.