Postpartum psychosis is the most serious and most dangerous of the disorders that can develop in pregnancy and after childbirth.
This is rare and occurs at a frequency of 0.1% – 0.2%, which means that it affects between one woman and two women per 1,000 women. One study found the incidence as high as 5 women per 1,000 births. The disorder usually occurs in the first two weeks after birth but may occur even months after birth.
Postpartum Psychosis severely disrupts a woman’s functioning. Symptoms of Postpartum Psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, confusion, partial or total loss of contact with reality, paranoia, hearing voices and commands.
The risk of these situations is that delusions can lead a woman to hurt herself, her baby and others around her.
Most women who suffer from postpartum psychosis do not hurt themselves or their babies, but the risk is present and must be taken seriously.
It cannot be stressed enough that this condition is an emergency and immediate medical assistance must be sought to ensure that the woman is treated medically and supervised 24 hours a day. Sometimes full hospitalization is required.