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Treating Postpartum Psychosis: Personal Stories and Professional Advice

Updated: Jun 25

baby yawning- snuggled in a blanket in mother's arms

Welcome, mamas, to another insightful journey into understanding our mental health in the postpartum season. Today, we dive deep into a crucial and often misunderstood topic: postpartum psychosis. By sharing personal stories and professional advice, we aim to shed light on this condition, its treatments, and how you can protect yourself and seek help.


Understanding Postpartum Psychosis


What is Postpartum Psychosis?

Postpartum psychosis is a severe mental health condition that can occur after childbirth. It is characterized by symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, severe mood swings, and cognitive impairment. This condition is rare but requires immediate medical attention due to the risk it poses to both the mother and baby.


Risk Factors for Postpartum Psychosis

double rainbow in the clouds over grassy knoll

While anyone can experience postpartum psychosis, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood:

  • Struggles with fertility, loss, or trauma

  • High incidences of trauma in childhood

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Prior mental health struggles, especially bipolar disorder or a history of psychosis

Recognizing these risk factors can help in early detection and management, ensuring you get the support you need promptly.


Protective Factors to Mitigate Risk

Building protective factors during pregnancy or the postpartum period is crucial for reducing the risk and intensity of postpartum psychosis. Here are some key strategies:

  1. Build a Support Network: Surround yourself with supportive family, friends, and professionals.

  2. Educate Yourself: Understanding the signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis can help you and your loved ones recognize it early.

  3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are vital.

  4. Access to Professional Help: Ensure you have access to mental health professionals who specialize in perinatal mental health.

For more detailed guidance, check out our resources on building protective factors on the Empower 2 Heal Podcast here.



Traditional Treatments for Postpartum Psychosis

Medication Management

Medications, such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, are often prescribed to manage the symptoms of postpartum psychosis. It's essential to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage.


Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be highly effective. Therapy provides a safe space to explore your feelings, develop coping strategies, and address any underlying issues contributing to your condition.



Alternative Treatments and Integrative Approaches


Shamanic healer and therapist Ayla Perez drumming in the Arizona Desert

In addition to traditional approaches like medication management and psychotherapy, alternative treatments can complement your healing journey. These include holistic approaches such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and more. Each person's experience with postpartum psychosis is unique, and finding what works best for you may involve exploring different options.


For more in-depth discussions on alternative treatments and personal stories from those who have navigated postpartum psychosis, we invite you to listen to our podcast episode "Treating Postpartum Psychosis: Personal Stories and Professional Advice". Hear firsthand experiences and expert insights that may resonate with your journey.


Remember, it's essential to consult with healthcare professionals to tailor a treatment plan that suits your specific needs and preferences.


Reaching Out for Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum psychosis, it's crucial to reach out for help immediately. Here are straightforward steps to get the support you need:

  1. Contact a Mental Health Professional: Look for a therapist or psychiatrist who specializes in perinatal mental health. Use directories such as Postpartum Support International and Psychology Today to find a provider near you.

  2. Join a Support Group: Support groups can offer a sense of community and understanding. Organizations like Postpartum Support International and Fourth Trimester Arizona provide free support groups.

  3. Emergency Help:

  • 911: Call 911 for emergencies requiring immediate assistance from police, fire, or medical services.

  • 988: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has implemented the 988 crisis hotline number, which provides immediate support for mental health crises.

  • PSI Helpline: For immediate support related to postpartum mental health issues, call the PSI Helpline at 1-800-944-4773 (or text "HELP" to 741-741 for Crisis Text Line).

  • US National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: Call 1-800-944-4773 for immediate assi stance and resources related to maternal mental health.


For a more personalized assessment, take our Name it to Tame it Postpartum Quiz to help determine if you are experiencing postpartum psychosis or other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).


Final Thoughts

Remember, mamas, you are not alone. Sharing personal stories and professional advice helps build awareness and understanding around postpartum psychosis. By recognizing the signs, understanding the risk factors, and knowing the available treatments, you can take proactive steps to protect your mental health and well-being.

Thank you for joining us in this conversation. Stay connected, stay informed, and reach out for help when you need it. Your mental health matters, and we are here to support you every step of the way.

For further support and resources, don't forget to check out our Empowered Mamas Club and explore the additional links and resources mentioned in this blog post.


With love and support,

Dena <3

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