Friday, 14 June 2013

Treatments to help prevent psychosis in women who have just given birth.

There is a small percentage of women for whom giving birth leads to psychosis. Postnatal psychosis affects one to two in every 1000 new mothers and is almost always a mood disorder accompanied by loss of contact with reality, hearing voices and seeing things (hallucinations), having strange beliefs (delusions), severe thought disturbance, and abnormal behaviour. It can be a life-threatening condition with an abrupt onset within a month of childbirth.

Read the full summary here:

From a service user perspective (SUPER), it is surprising that there is so little research on women’s mental health just after childbirth, particularly as postnatal psychosis is potentially life- threatening.  There is risk of suicide, child neglect and abuse and even in some extreme cases killing the child.  News coverage has highlighted the devastating story of a mother with severe postnatal depression who smothered her 10-day-old son after her medication was taken away (Steven Morris, The Guardian, Friday 12th November, See:  Recent news has also centred on a pregnant mother who killed her three children before committing suicide (  This makes the prevention of postnatal psychosis even more urgent and important.

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