According to the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women's Mental Health, postpartum psychosis is the most severe form of postpartum psychiatric illness. It is a rare event that occurs in approximately 0.2% of women after childbirth. It often begins dramatically with symptoms starting as early as the first 48 to 72 hours after delivery. The majority of women with psychosis develop symptoms within the first two postpartum weeks.
Early symptoms include
rapidly shifting depressed or elated mood
disoriented or confused thoughts
erratic or disorganized behavior
Delusional beliefs are common and often center on the infant. Auditory hallucinations that instruct the mother to harm herself or her infant may also occur.
If you or a mom in your life are experiencing symptoms of postpartum psychosis, seek emergency help immediately by calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room.