Tuesday, 9 November 2010

MRCP revision battle 44.4: Baby blues, post natal depression and psychosis

Every now and then the MRCP exam will throw a slightly curve-ball question about a woman who has recently given birth being depressed.  The key facts to know ready to deal with this are:

  1. 'baby blues'
    • affects 60-70% of mothers 
    • tends to last for 3 to 7 days
    • characterised by being weepy and irritable
  2. post natal depression
    • affects 10% of mothers
    • begins 1 to 3 months after childbirth
  3. postpartum psychosis
    • affects 0.2% of mothers
    • riskiest period is 2 to 3 weeks post partum
    • there is a 20% risk of reccurence with subsequent births

 Next - on to an overdose