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 later than this sometimes at the time they stop breastfeeding, or when their periods restart.
Psychosis causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. The two main symptoms are:
The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can severely disrupt her perception, thinking, emotions and behaviour.
A woman with postpartum psychosis may also behave in a way that is out of character, and may experience:
Her mood may change rapidly. Some affected women experience symptoms of mania and depression at the same time.
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