Current issue


Volume 39, issue 2

Review article

Postpartum psychosis with particular emphasis on its treatment

Anna Konopka1, Jagoda Kaczmarek1, Sylwia Serbin1, Weronika Kulma1, Wiktoria Bossy1, Ewa Kurczewska1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Poznaniu, Poznań, Polska
Farmakoterapia w Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2023, 39 (2), 169–185
Date of publication: 19-01-2024
Keywords: bipolar disorder, postpartum period, mental disorders


Objectives. Pregnancy and puerperium are a time of intense changes in a woman’s life and her functioning at the social, psychological, and biological levels. Perinatal disorders are common; they are mainly manifested by baby blues and postpartum depression. Postpartum psychosis, although rare, is a disease that can cause danger to the health of the mother and child. The aim of the study was to present the current information on postpartum psychosis, to emphasise the need to take prompt therapeutic measures, and thoroughly discuss all stages of treatment.

Literature review. The article reviews current publications related to the issue of postpartum psychosis. The literature was compiled using the PubMed research database. The paper presents basic information on the aetiology, symptoms, and diagnosis of this disease. The treatment and prevention of postpartum psychosis was discussed in detail. We have also focused on studies exploring the link between postpartum psychosis and the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Conclusions. Postpartum psychosis usually develops in a much shorter time than other mental disorders associated with childbirth and, unquestionably, it requires hospitalisation. Therapy is based on the use of medications from the mood stabilisers group, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics. It is also possible to use electroconvulsive therapy. In addition, it is recommended to continue lithium therapy for about 9 months after the symptoms have resolved. Patients who are in a risk group should be informed about the course of postpartum psychosis and available treatment options. Education of mothers and their families, careful observation, and pharmacotherapy are most important in preventing the onset of adverse effects.

Address for correspondence:
Anna Konopka
Szpital Kliniczny Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Poznaniu
Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Oddział B Psychiatryczny Dorosłych
ul. Szpitalna 27/33, 60-572 Poznań