Postpartum Psychosis Faqs , Postpartum Depression Facts
Q: The Andrea Yates case, and the other case below, have received a lot
of attention. Many of us have wondered if 'postpartum depression' has
become the excuse de jour. Here are some facts. There's much more at
each of these sites.
Something I've noticed in many of these cases (but not the Yates case)
is that the mothers are often much older than most mothers. (Or maybe
it's just the cases that get publicity.) Is being an older mother or
birthing multiples a risk factor?
A:Q: What's the difference between "baby blues" and postpartum depression?
A: The baby blues are common, affecting up to 85 percent of new mothers. Frequently described as "bad PMS," the blues most often strike within days of childbirth and pass in about two weeks. Reassurance, support and education help. Postpartum depression sets in two to four weeks after delivery and, without proper attention, can pose serious risks for mother and baby. It should not be confused with postpartum psychosis, a severe illness that leaves some sufferers at risk for suicide, child abuse or infanticide. From http://www.wfaa.com/wfaa/articledisplay/1,1002,4545,00.html A small group of women -- about 1 in 1,000 -- experience postpartum psychosis, a break with reality that can include hallucinations and delusions. In such a case, hospitalization may be necessary. From http://pregnancy.about.com/health/pregnancy/library/blppd.htm Postpartum psychosis, though rare (1 in 1,000) must be considered an emergency and treated immediately. The mother usually responds quickly to medication and is most cases will need to recover in a hospital or clinic. She will also need to know that she is at risk (40-100%) for developing postpartum psychosis sometime in the future and likely recur if she should have another child. There is some limited research that mothers at risk may benefit from the use of estrogen after birth to prevent psychotic depression.
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