We have all heard of women who get the baby blues and even postpartum depression after giving birth. A new study finds that first-time mothers are at greatest risk of psychosis, especially within the first 30 days of their baby's life.
Postpartum psychosis is relatively rare, occurring in only about one in every 1000 women, but is very dangerous. These women are at a much greater risk of harming themselves or their babies. Psychosis patients may hallucinate, and often have difficulty distinguishing between reality and their imagination.
A large new Swedish study of first-time mothers found that most of those who did develop psychosis did so within the first month, even if they had 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.