Robert Kennedy, Kelley Suttenfield

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Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a rare condition that occurs in approximately 1-2 per 1000 women after childbirth.[11,12] The presentation can be dramatic, with onset as early as the first 48-72 hours postpartum. For the majority of women with postpartum psychosis, symptoms develop within the first 2 weeks after delivery. The earliest symptoms are typically restlessness, irritability, and sleep disturbance. In general, postpartum psychosis evolves rapidly and is characterized by depressed or elated mood, disorganized behavior, mood lability, and delusions and hallucinations.[13] Postpartum psychosis of the bipolar type is characterized by elated mood, disorganized behavior, mood lability, and the presence of hallucinations or delusions. In extreme cases, the risks of suicide and/or infanticide are high, thus these women often require hospitalization.[14]


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