A small number of women (1 in every 1,000-3,000 births) suffer from a severe maternal mental health disorder called postpartum psychosis. Women who have a personal or family history of bipolar disorder or a history of a psychotic episode may have a higher risk for postpartum psychosis. Often women are not diagnosed with bipolar disorder or are misdiagnosed with depression prior to pregnancy.
The onset of symptoms is usually sudden and within the first two weeks of giving birth and can include:
• Delusions, or strange beliefs
• Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
• Decreased need for sleep or unable to sleep
• Rapid mood swings
• Difficulty communicating
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Postpartum Psychosis is considered a medical emergency due to the potential for a mom to harm herself or her baby.
Learn more about postpartum psychosis HERE.