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Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis occurs in 1 to 2 of every 1,000 births. The onset of the psychosis is usually within the first two weeks to three months after birth.

Immediate treatment is crucial as there is a 5 percent rate of suicide/infanticide associated with postpartum psychosis.

Onset is sudden and symptoms include:

  • Delusions and/or hallucinations
  • Extreme agitation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Confusion/poor judgement
  • Irrationality
  • Difficulty remembering or concentrating

Risk factors include: previous postpartum psychosis or depressions; manic-depressive (bipolar) history; prenatal stressors such as low socioeconomic status and lack of a supportive partner or social support; obsessive personality traits; family history of a mood disorder.

Postpartum psychosis is treatable. Read more about treatment options.

Perinatal mood disorders are treatable. But first you have to ask for help.

call the helpline 24/7 at


Department of Health

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Last Modified: Thursday, 12-Jul-12 11:44:53