Prevention of Recurrence of Postpartum Psychiatric illness in next Pregnancy
Once a woman has had an episode of postpartum psychiatric illness, there is a fair chance of recurrence during a
subsequent pregnancy or post delivery period. Hence, it is advisable to take precautions in advance so that patient and
family are better prepared to handle the mental health problems if they do occur.
Some of the important steps are as follows-
1) The next pregnancy should be planned so that the Psychiatrist can decide if you need medications or a change
in medications. Some medicines are not very safe in pregnancy while for others certain precautions need
to be taken. It is hence very important that you discuss a future pregnancy with your Psychiatrist or Gynecologist
even before you decide to become pregnant.
2) Consult your Psychiatrist and Obstetrician in advance, at the planning stage itself
3) Professional advice would help you organize things and handle the eventualities
4) Ensure you have adequate social support during the postpartum period. A new baby can be demanding and you
must get help so that you get adequate rest and sleep during this period.
5) Avoid stress and take medications as prescribed by professionals. In some situations you may have to continue
medicines during pregnancy and postpartum period under supervision to prevent recurrences
6) Eat regularly, try to maintain a schedule, avoid sleepless nights. Regular habits help to prevent recurrence
7) Contact the psychiatrist in case you observe the warning sign i.e. the symptoms that were present in the early days of
the previous episode. Early initiation of treatment helps to prevent a full-blown episode.
8) It is best that both husband and wife are involved together in decision making about pregnancy. So, ensure that
both visit the Psychiatrist and Gynecologist to discuss the pros and cons and precautions related to pregnancy.