The Mental Status of a Mother While She Is Pregnant

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PREGNANCY AND PSYCHIATRY Introduction: The mental status of the mother while she is pregnant and while she is postpartum is very important for the welfare of both child and the mother. In this chapter we tend to discuss different psychiatric problems that mothers encounter during pregnancy and after delivery of the child. In the second part we tend to list various psychotropic medications that can lead to fetal harm. Diseases POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS Postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis) is defined as symptom of psychosis which occurs suddenly flowing childbirth. . The episode of psychosis usually begins within 1 to 3 months of delivery of the child. EPIDEMIOLOGY • There is a world-wide prevalence. • Its incidence is less than 1 in 1000 deliveries. • It is more common in primi-gravid mothers. CAUSES • Molecular genetic studies suggest a specific heritable factor. Evidence of linkage to chromosome 16 has been implicated. SYMPTOMS • Manic symptoms: Euphoric Mood, loud clothing. • Disorganized speech, Delusions, Violence, irritability, Thought symptoms • auditory hallucinations • Mutism • extreme fear • negligence towards child • Harming attitude towards child Prognosis • Deprived of treatment, these symptoms can last for several months but with treatment these symptoms usually improve within a few weeks. • Some women may have a relapse. • Mothers who suffer such episode have increased risk of developing other manic depressive episodes. • Suicide is rare and
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