Incidence of women who experience Psychosis during pregnancy.
Psychoses arising for the first time in pregnancy is very uncommon. Women who have a past history of a psychotic illness (like Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder) may become pregnant and may need to be maintained on medication during pregnancy.
Incidence of women who experience Postpartum Psychosis.
Between 1-2 women per 1,000 births experience a Postpartum Psychosis This is also a rare occurrence, but if psychosis occurs it is most likely to occur during the postpartum period rather than during pregnancy.
What is Psychosis?
Psychosis is a condition occurring in the context of an underlying psychiatric disorder like: Bipolar Affective Disorder, Schizophrenia, or Major Depression. For some women, a Postpartum Psychosis may be the only psychotic episode they will experience. For others, a Postpartum Psychosis may be the first episode of a psychiatric disorder or an acute exacerbation of an underlying disorder.
During a psychotic episode, the woman losses touch with reality. The woman may be:
It can be a very frightening condition and needs immediate treatment. Postpartum Psychosis occurs usually within two to four weeks after delivery.
Risk Factors of Psychosis
Women are at greater risk of having a Psychotic experience if they have a:
Signs and Symptoms experienced by women with Psychosis
You may experience some of the following:
Reasons why pregnant or Postpartum women having a Psychotic experience should seek treatment.
Women experiencing a psychosis are at risk of committing suicide and, in very rare cases, of harming their unborn child or infants. These women need to be hospitalized for their safety and to safeguard their infants.
This is a psychiatric emergency and the woman needs to be hospitalized immediately. Because of her confusion the woman may not have the insight to recognize how ill she is, therefore, the decision for hospitalization will be made by her physician.
Ideally women should not be separated from their babies during hospitalization.† We would recommend special mother-baby units or designated beds on maternity wards† where the baby could be assigned to the nursery and supervised by neonatal nurses.
Treatments Options for women with Post Partum Psychosis.
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