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News2007May › Mother's Health: Doctors ignore mental wellbeing of new mums › May 2007

Mother's Health: Doctors ignore mental wellbeing of new mums

Obstetricians tend to overlook one vital aspect of mother and baby wellbeing - the mental health of the woman after the birth

Obstetricians tend to overlook one vital aspect of mother and baby wellbeing - the mental health of the woman after the birth. Serious cases of psychosis, including schizophrenia, occur in around 2 cases out of every thousand births, a new study has found, and this suggests that mild post-birth 'blues' and depression are very common.

As it stands, obstetricians are not trained to look out for these reactions, even in cases where the woman has suffered such severe psychosis before giving birth that she had received hospital care.

Not surprisingly, at least 40 per cent of women who suffer psychosis before the birth develop it again afterwards, a new study from Sweden has found.
Researchers monitored the mental wellbeing of women who had their first baby between 1987 and 2001, and found that most psychotic episodes occur during the first four weeks after the birth when the women are still under medical care.

(Source: Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007; 64: 42-8).


E-news broadcast 15 March 2007 No.342 [Subscribe]


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