Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum Psychosis is very rare, only occurring in .1%-.2% of all births.  The onset of symptoms usually occurs during pregnancy or within the first four weeks postpartum.  Although there is a relatively low risk of self-harm or harm to the baby, it is extremely important that women experiencing postpartum psychosis receive immediate medical care, as psychosis indicates a break from reality.  It is important that a woman experiencing postpartum psychosis not be left alone with her child, as she will be unable to think clearly and her judgment and decision making will be impaired.  Delusions and hallucinations may seem very strange and bizarre to family and friends but will seem very real to the woman experiencing the psychosis.  If you suspect you or your loved one is experiencing a psychotic episode, please contact your healthcare provider or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis

  • Delusions and strange beliefs
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Irritability
  • Disturbance in sleep and appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Distractibility or difficulty concentrating
 
 Reproductive and Maternal Mental Health