What is Postpartum Psychosis?

Postpartum Psychosis is a disruption to a person’s thoughts and perceptions to where they are unable to recognize reality. Severe cases of Postpartum Psychosis are associated with delusions and hallucinations that suggest mothers to harm themselves or their children. Postpartum Psychosis typically takes place within the first 4 weeks after childbirth, but can onset as early as the first 72 hours after giving birth.

What are the Symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis?

Postpartum Psychosis is associated with:

  • Delusions of foreign beliefs

  • Hallucinations

  • Irritability

  • Confusion

  • Hyperactivity

  • Decreased desire or ability to sleep

  • Paranoia

  • Rapid Mood Swings

  • Difficulty Communicating

  • Disorganized Behavior

Is Postpartum Psychosis a Common Diagnosis?

No. While Postpartum Psychosis is the most severe of the Postpartum Disorders, it is also the most rare.  Only 1 to 2 women out of 1000 will suffer the symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis. Additionally, not all women who have delusions or hallucinations act out or have violent thoughts. Nonetheless the risk of infanticide and suicide is of significant concern. 

Causes and Treatment for Postpartum Psychosis?

Research into the cause of Postpartum Psychosis isn't definitive, however, data suggest that a personal or family history of Bipolar Disorder and/or personal history of psychotic episodes are the most significant risk factors for developing this condition. Early recognition and immediate action to address Postpartum Psychosis is the best approach to remedy the disorder. Treatment is a available and can lead to a quick and complete recovery. If you or a loved one may be suffering any of the symptoms outlined above please contact Dr. Montfort or seek the assistance of a mental health professional. 


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