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About postnatal psychosis

Postnatal psychosis affects 1-2 women in every 1000 after childbirth.

Postnatal psychosis is a serious but treatable mental health condition.

It is a potentially life-threatening condition that can put both mother and baby at risk.

Women with postnatal psychosis will almost always need admission to hospital for specialised psychiatric assessment, care and treatment. After the immediate treatment period, ongoing support is needed during the recovery process.

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Signs and Symptoms

Postnatal psychosis can cause sudden and dramatic changes in a person’s thinking, behaviour, mood and sleep patterns.

Learn the signs and symptoms to look out for if you are worried your partner or someone you may know might be experiencing postnatal psychosis.

Signs and Symptoms

Getting help

In many situations, the decision to seek treatment for postnatal psychosis will fall to the mother’s partner or family and close support people. It can be hard for a woman’s support people to take this step, but postnatal psychosis requires urgent medical attention.

Professional help is available. You can find information on where to seek help here.

Treatment options

Postnatal psychosis is a serious and complex mental health condition. Specialist treatment and care is essential.

Health professionals, partners and key support people all have an important role to play during the recovery process.

Learn about what treatment and care might involve.

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Everyone’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting is unique and brings different rewards and challenges. Our mental health checklist can help you to see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be reason to seek help.

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PANDA National Helpline

Find someone to talk to, Monday to Saturday.

1300 726 306

Call 000 for police and ambulance if you or someone else are in immediate danger

Talk with friends or family

Consider talking about how you are feeling with someone you trust. This might be a friend or family member. Once you starting talking you might be surprised at how many others have had similar experiences and the support they can provide you.

Talk with your doctor

Talking with your doctor can be an important step to getting the help you need. They should be able to give you non-judgemental support, assessment, diagnosis, and ongoing care and treatment. They can also refer you to specialists such as a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Get help now

If you are having suicidal thoughts or are feeling disorientated it’s important to get help immediately. PANDA is not a crisis service, if you need immediate support call Lifeline 13 11 14 (24/7).

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While PANDA has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the basis that PANDA is not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.

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How are you going?

Everyone’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting is unique and brings different rewards and challenges. Our mental health checklist can help you to see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be a reason to seek help.