Q&A: Perinatal Psychosis (PPP) January, 2023

Perinatal Psychosis

You may have heard the term Perinatal Psychosis (PPP) in the news recently.  With the news, there are times that we can hear things that are scary, or that we don’t understand, or wonder “could that be me.”   PSI would like to take this opportunity to discuss PPP, and the support and resources available for those seeking help.  As part of bringing awareness to this topic we also want to provide resources for families and professionals and re-introduce The PSI Yates Children Memorial Fund Legal Justice Program.

What is Perinatal Psychosis? Perinatal Psychosis falls into the larger category of Perinatal Mental Health Disorders. It occurs less often than depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders – occurring approximately 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 deliveries, and often goes unrecognized, ignored, or inadequately treated.  Perinatal Psychosis can occur during the postpartum period but also during pregnancy and post-loss.   Of that number, 4% of those involve infanticide.

What are the symptoms of PPP?

Symptoms of Perinatal psychosis can include:

  • Delusions or strange beliefs
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • Feeling very irritated
  • Hyperactivity
  • Decreased need for or inability to sleep
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Difficulty communicating at times

The most significant risk factors for Perinatal psychosis are a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, or a previous psychotic episode. (This is a risk factor, but is not always present,  and does not mean that psychosis  will definitely happen)

I want to learn more about PPP.

Visit our site www.postpartum.net  to learn more about PPP and find resources.  

I feel uncertain, scared or have questions or concerns about PPP, and my own Mental Health.  PSI provides connection, support, resources and referral to all pregnant, postpartum,and post-loss people and their families.  You are not alone – and you do not need a diagnosis to reach out for help.  We are here for you. 

PSI offers several support options for individuals and families who are survivors of Perinatal Psychosis (these services are not for those currently experiencing symptoms).

  • Online Support Groups
    • Perinatal Psychosis(PPP) for Moms
      Information and Registration
    • Support for Families Touched by Perinatal Psychosis (PPP)
      Information and Registration
    • Specialized Support Coordinators who specialize and have lived experience with Perinatal Psychosis.  To contact support coordinators, follow the links below.
  • In an emergency situation:  
    • Call 988 – National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • Call 911

I am a provider (Mental Health, Medical, or other affiliated professions) and want to learn more about Perinatal Mental Health Disorders, including PPP

Part of PSI’s commitment to bringing awareness and help to the mental health of pregnant, post-loss, and postpartum parents is to educate those who care for them.   Consider learning more by taking PSI training.  

  • Watch this webinar from 2022: Slaying the Monstrous Misconceptions about Postpartum Psychosis

What is the PSI Yates Children Memorial Fund Legal Justice Program?

  • The PSI Yates Children Memorial Fund Legal Justice Program provides support to families and resources for professionals involved with cases concerning perinatal mental health disorders in the legal system.  Through this program PSI endeavors to prevent crises related to perinatal psychiatric illness and the risk of tragic or unjust results that may occur.  Learn more and download the Legal Toolkit. https://www.postpartum.net/about-psi/legal-justice/
  • Donate to the PSI Yates Children Memorial Fund Legal Justice Program and help us work for justice in the perinatal mental health field.