These illnesses can be severe and unpredictable. The safety of the mother and particularly of the baby must always be paramount. Hospital admission is usually necessary, preferably to a specialized mother and baby unit.

Treatment is in principle the same as would be used for the equivalent psychosis occurring apart from the puerperium. However, ECT should more readily be considered, for manic and schizophrenic syndromes as well as depressive ones. ECT often relieves symptoms more quickly than drugs, and most psychotropic drugs enter breast milk, a potential (though sometimes overemphasized) concern if the mother is breast-feeding. High-dose progesterone is reported to be helpful but has not been tested in a clinical trial. The issue of contraception may need addressing if the illness is prolonged.

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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