Puerperal psychosis is a brief psychotic disorder, also known as postpartum psychosis, and its symptoms appear in the first two weeks after delivery . Usually mothers who develop the disease have delusions, hallucinations and a state of confusion, and this happens every five hundred births a woman develops the disease.
Postpartum psychosis disorder or postpartum psychosis may or may not develop due to stress factors, hallucinations and delusions also present in different ways. A theft that does not exist, anger of the child, hear voices, and other symptoms that are aggravated by lack of assistance.
Prejudice or Lack of Knowledge?
There is still a lot of prejudice in relation to diseases with mental disorders and the patients themselves hide what they feel and think that the situation they are in will pass. Another issue is the lack of knowledge on the subject, which also slows down the treatment of puerperal psychosis, which is extremely important.
The mother in this situation ends up being afraid that her baby may be removed from her, but according to some psychiatrists it is important that the patient is monitored and remains with her child. The important thing is to be aware of postpartum psychosis , as this disease requires medical treatment and proper medications for the psychotic condition to resolve.
Main Symptoms of Puerperal Psychosis
Whoever develops postpartum psychosis , presents a hallucination picture where they hear and see things that are not real. Hallucinations are frightening, accompanied by a lot of disturbance and are completely disoriented.
These symptoms can vary and appear, disappear or persist. It is important to say that this disease is different from postpartum depression , puerperal psychosis requires immediate treatment.
Another symptom is confusion, many mothers do not understand what is happening around them and also do not understand what other people are talking to them, it is difficult to distinguish what is said.
Delusions together with hallucinations and mental confusion are the main symptom for confirming postpartum psychosis. It also requires medical treatment and some cases present with violence.
Other Symptoms of Puerperal Psychosis
- Mood swings: Women who have the disease change their mood quickly. In one moment they are super euphoric, in another moment they are super sad or angry.
- Sleep quality: Mothers usually have difficulty falling asleep , they develop insomnia and struggle not to sleep.
- Hyperactivity: very common among women with postpartum psychosis, they are very agitated, with a lot of energy and cannot stand still.
How to Treat Puerperal Psychosis
For many women with symptoms of postpartum psychosis, there is a need for hospitalization, treatment is monitored by doctors until the disease stabilizes . Medicines help and should be prescribed by the doctor, as they are antipsychotic drugs that help to stabilize the disease and improve mood.
Always with doubts on the part of mothers regarding taking the medication because of breastfeeding , the remedies do not cause problems for breastfeeding , but if in doubt clarify with your doctor.
Some doctors opt for the treatment of electroconvulsive therapy , which is a shock therapy to treat psychotic disorders, where an electric current is sent to the brain and performed under anesthesia.
What is the Difference between Puerperal Psychosis and Postpartum Sadness?
Puerperal Psychosis or Postpartum Psychosis is a more serious case and requires, in many cases, hospitalization, Postpartum Sadness or Baby Blues as it is known is less severe, but it causes great psychic disorder, the woman presents great sadness, a feeling of insecurity, and fear, this usually happens after birth.
The woman goes through several mood swings, a mixture of feelings, sadness, joy, irritation, usually all the emotions and feelings that she went through during pregnancy appear after delivery. The main symptom is crying and the feeling of being powerless , emptiness takes over and fear too.
This maternal sadness is not recognized by doctors as a disease, it goes away without causing major inconvenience to the mother and baby, although it presents symptoms such as tiredness, anguish, discouragement, constant crying and sadness for no reason.
But be careful, if the Baby Blues does not disappear within a week or two after delivery, it is recommended to consult a doctor, in which case the disease may progress to postpartum depression.
Treatment of Postpartum Sadness or Baby Blues
The recommended treatment is psychotherapy, where it helps to clarify and understand the process of the empty stomach and any feeling of farewell from one phase to another . After all, mom carried her baby for nine months, now he’s in her arms what to do?
It is important not to blame yourself and try to talk to everyone around you. Putting out all the confused feelings that afflict you, so the more you expel your feelings, the faster you will be able to organize your emotions.
Another aggravating factor for this feeling is the anguish that it is not being efficient and proactive in caring for your baby, but this feeling tends to pass. Don’t blame yourself, you are certainly doing your best, and with each passing day you will notice that it is easier to fulfill and manage your maternal tasks.
But be aware if the symptoms persist and are not improving, it is good to consult the doctor, to check if your condition is not progressing to Postpartum Depression.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.