Beyond “baby blues”: Recognizing postpartum psychosis
Elana Rosinger BSN, RN, CMSRN
Donald D. Kautz PhD, RN, CRRN-CNE

$7.95
Nursing2014
August 2012 
Volume 42  Number 8
Pages 44 - 46
 
  PDF Version Available!

ABSTRACT
AFTER CHILDBIRTH, SOME WOMEN experience postpartum depression, and in most instances it subsides without treatment. In rare cases, however, women experience the sudden onset of psychotic symptoms following childbirth, a dangerous medical condition known as postpartum psychosis (PP). This article explores how to identify patients at risk for PP, what signs and symptoms to assess for, and how to support them and their families during treatment.Postpartum depression is estimated to occur in 15% of new mothers, but PP is rare, occurring in only 1 to 2 of 1,000 new mothers. Over 50% of women with PP have delusions that their baby is being harmed or killed, and approximately 4% commit infanticide.1A woman with postpartum depression may be listless and report feelings of worthlessness. In contrast, a woman with PP loses contact with reality and experiences psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions (see Recognizing PP). For example, she may become convinced that something is terribly wrong with her baby, or that someone is trying to harm her baby. These delusions may cause her to harm herself or the baby, or to entertain thoughts of doing so.Women who experience PP may or may not have a history of mental disorders, but the risk is greater for those who have a personal or family history of mental illness. Women with a history of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and PP with previous pregnancies have a higher risk of developing PP.Signs and symptoms of PP typically appear soon after childbirth, usually within 2 weeks of delivery, but some women don't experience symptoms until several months later.2 Although the cause of PP is unknown, signs and symptoms appear to be triggered in high-risk women by the rapid hormonal changes that occur after childbirth.3During prenatal visits, ask questions to help determine if your patient may be at risk for PP, such as: * Have you or anyone in your family had a mental illness or psychiatric treatment?

Purchase Now !

To purchase this item, follow the instructions below. If you’re not already logged in, be sure to enter your login information below to ensure that your item is saved to your File Drawer after you purchase it.

Not a member? Join now for Free!


Cost:$7.95
1) If you're not already logged in, enter your information below to save this item in your File Drawer for future viewing.

User name:


Password


Forgot your user name or password?
2)  If you have a coupon or promotional code, enter it
here.(If not, just click Continue.


Digital Coupon: (optional)

3)  Click Continue to go to the next screen, where
you'll enter your payment details.






Featured Jobs



Benefits of Membership

FREE E-Newsletters
Sign up for our free enewsletters to stay up-to-date in your area of practice - or take a look at an archive of prior issues

CESaver
Join our CESaver program to earn up to 100 contact hours for only $34.95
Register Now

Lippincott's NursingCenter.com
Explore a world of online resources

Become a Member