University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Phenomenology, Epidemiology and Aetiology of Postpartum Psychosis: A Review

Perry, Amy ORCID:, Gordon-Smith, Katherine ORCID:, Jones, Lisa ORCID: and Jones, I. (2021) Phenomenology, Epidemiology and Aetiology of Postpartum Psychosis: A Review. Brain Sciences, 11 (1). e47. ISSN Online: 2076-3425

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Postpartum psychoses are a severe form of postnatal mood disorders, affecting 1–2 in
every 1000 deliveries. These episodes typically present as acute mania or depression with psychosis
within the first few weeks of childbirth, which, as life-threatening psychiatric emergencies, can
have a significant adverse impact on the mother, baby and wider family. The nosological status
of postpartum psychosis remains contentious; however, evidence indicates most episodes to be
manifestations of bipolar disorder and a vulnerability to a puerperal trigger. While childbirth appears
to be a potent trigger of severe mood disorders, the precise mechanisms by which postpartum
psychosis occurs are poorly understood. This review examines the current evidence with respect
to potential aetiology and childbirth-related triggers of postpartum psychosis. Findings to date
have implicated neurobiological factors, such as hormones, immunological dysregulation, circadian
rhythm disruption and genetics, to be important in the pathogenesis of this disorder. Prediction
models, informed by prospective cohort studies of high-risk women, are required to identify those at
greatest risk of postpartum psychosis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This article (No.47) belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Bipolar Disorder.
A Pdf file of the published article is available to download from this WRaP record.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: postpartum, psychosis, aetiology, triggers
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User: Katherine Gordon-Smith
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 11:17
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 10:19

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