First-Time Mothers At Greater Risk For Psychosis After Birth

We've all heard of women who get the baby blues and even post-partum depression after giving birth. Now a new study finds first-time mothers are at greater risk of psychosis within the first 30 days of their baby's life.

Post-partum psychosis is relatively rare, about one in every 1,000 women, but very dangerous. These women are at a much greater risk of harming themselves or their babies. Psychosis patients may have hallucinations, and often have difficulty distinguishing between reality and their imagination.

A large new Swedish study of first-time mothers found most of those who did develop psychosis did so within the first month, even if they'd never been treated for mental illness before. They also found the risk of psychosis increased with the age of the mother.

Researchers say although the risk of psychosis is low, women should be monitored carefully in the first few months after giving birth.


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