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What is postnatal psychosis?

Sometimes also known as puerperal psychosis or postpartum psychosis, this is a rare mental health condition that usually develops within a couple of weeks of childbirth, although it can occur up to 12 weeks after childbirth. Sometimes early symptoms may occur during pregnancy. Symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations and delusional or irrational beliefs. Women with postnatal psychosis may have symptoms of depression or mania (extremely high mood and energy). Postnatal psychosis is a serious mental health condition that requires immediate treatment. Women with postnatal psychosis can be at increased risk of harming themselves or their baby.

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About this article

Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 27 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 18 May 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 788 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Bipolar disorder


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