A woman's risk of developing postpartum psychosis should be assessed during her antenatal appointments so that if she were to develop the illness after giving birth, the signs would be spotted straight away and there would be a treatment plan to follow.
There are no specific screening tools for postpartum psychosis, but the antenatal care team should be able to identify women who are more likely to develop it and refer them to a psychiatrist for an assessment.
If you've been assessed to be at high risk of developing postpartum psychosis, you may be offered a pre-birth planning meeting at around 32 weeks of pregnancy.
Everyone involved in your care would be invited to this meeting your partner, family or friends, a mental health professional, midwife, obstetrician, health visitor and GP.
The aim is to make everyone aware of your risk and to agree on a plan for your care.
Studies suggest that taking certain medicines in late pregnancy could help to prevent postpartum psychosis in high-risk women. You may want to discuss this option with your care team. The risks and benefits of medication taken in pregnancy should always be carefully weighed up.
You may also be given advice on what you can do to stay as well as possible during pregnancy for example, reducing any stress in your life, and getting as much sleep as possible.
You'll get a copy of your written care plan, which should include how you and your family can get help quickly if you were to become ill see What should I do if I think I'm having an episode?
In the first few weeks after your baby is born, you should be regularly visited by a midwife, health visitor and mental health nurse.
NHS Choices information on postpartum psychosis (psychosis after childbirth), with links to other useful resources
Most women with postpartum psychosis will experience psychosis (a 'psychotic episode') and other symptoms very soon after giving birth, usually within the first two weeks. Some women develop symptoms
Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental illness that should be treated as a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, the postpartum psychosis can get worse rapidly. The illness could cause he
Postpartum psychosis is more likely to affect women who: havehad postpartum psychosis before already have a serious mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have a rela
Contact your GP immediately if you think someone you know may have developed postnatal psychosis. If this isn't possible, call NHS 111 or your local out-of-hours service . If you think there's a da
If you already have a care plan because you've been assessed to be at high risk, there should be an emergency number you can call to reach a crisis team. If you don't have a care plan, and think you'
Postpartum psychosis is a psychiatric emergency. The woman may need to be admitted to hospital for treatment. Ideally, she would be admitted with her baby to a specialist psychiatric unit called a mo
We're not really sure what causes postpartum psychosis. Fluctuations in hormones and sleep patterns could play a role, and there does seem to be a genetic basis, as a woman is more likely to develop t
A woman's risk of developing postpartum psychosis should be assessed during her antenatal appointments so that if she were to develop the illness after giving birth, the signs would be spotted straigh
With treatment, the vast majority of women with postpartum psychosis start to feel better very quickly. Some mothers have difficulty bonding with their baby after an episode of postpartum psychosis,
Women who have experienced or are experiencing postpartum psychosis may find the following charities and forums helpful: Action Postpartum Psychosis The Association for Post Natal Illness PAND