Thursday, October 11, 2012

Postnatal post-traumatic stress and Puerperal psychosis symptoms

Postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder and birth trauma: Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms may occur on their own or with postnatal depression. The reasons women develop this are unclear, but women often describe feeling ‘out of control’ and very afraid during the birth. This condition can be caused by:
A fear of dying or your baby dying, or
Life-threatening situations.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder    
The symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, numbed emotions, sleeping problems, irritable, angry and irrational behavior.
If you get any of these symptoms, you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling; your midwife, GP or health visitor will be able to advise where to get help.
Puerperal psychosis
This is a much more rare and serious condition, which affects about 1 in 500 new mothers. Women with a family history of mental illness or who have suffered from puerperal psychosis in previous pregnancies are at a higher risk of developing this illness.
Symptoms include hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others cannot), delusions (incredible beliefs such as thinking you must save the world) and mania (extremely energetic and bizarre activity like washing and ironing clothes in the middle of the night).
Puerperal psychosis symptoms   
The symptoms of this illness can be very severe and sometimes very frightening for you, your partner, and your family. In fact, your partner may be the first to notice that you are unwell. It is important that your partner or someone close to you knows the symptoms to look out for. They will appear suddenly, often within the first two weeks following the birth of the baby. Seeking help quickly will ensure that you are treated as early as possible, to help you get well again.
Women with this illness are often treated in hospital. Mother and baby units are available so that you will not be separated from your baby.

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