Depression Series: Postpartum Psychosis
What explains depression in women that is accompanied by the birth of their first child, and what can be done to minimize its drastic consequences? In the episode, Dr. Ronald R. Fieve, head of the Fieve Depression Center, located at 952 Fifth Avenue in New York City, shows us the darker side of the first pregnancy.
"Postpartum psychosis, can be very serious. A lot of times you get a woman who has a history of bipolar in the family, and she may have never had a bipolar episode up until 25, but she also might have had depression in college not knowing what it was; suddenly she has her first baby, and boom she either goes into a manic state, psychotic, or into profound depression.
And this is a high risk time for a girl that has a family history or a past history of bipolar disorder. The first baby is a high risk time. I've just had this recently with a patient, and I watched this patient very, very closely during the pregnancy, and right afterwards, we delivered the baby, and got her right back on lithium again, to prevent any postpartum psychosis."