Anxiety and other difficulties
It is not uncommon for women to experience other forms of mental health difficulties during this period. These can include:
- overwhelming feeling of anxiety
- obsessive compulsive tendencies
- problems with eating
Puerperal psychosis (also called postpartum psychosis) is a severe and rare form of mental illness which occurs in 1-2 in 1000 mothers. Symptoms normally occur within the first week after birth and can involve extreme or bizarre behaviours. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate psychiatric support via your GP, out of hours GP or emergency department.
Women who have a personal or family history of psychosis or bipolar, have a higher risk of puerperal psychosis. If you think you may be at risk, you should meet with your GP to discuss preventative treatment. A partner, family or friends may notice these symptoms first.