Older moms are prone to acute psychosis

HEALTH IS WEALTH

Here is a timely reminder and a warning to normal or men tally stable men who unfortunately marry elderly women (more than 35 years of age). A study from Stockholm, Sweden reports that first-time mothers who give birth after the age of 35 are more than twice as likely as younger moms to suffer postpartum psychosis that could involve a danger to the newborn child.

“The risk of developing psychosis during the first 90 days (after childbirth) increased with age,” said the study, conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and published by the Public Library of Science medical journal.

Postpartum psychosis is defined as a serious mental disorder, involving delusions, hallucinations, severe eating or sleeping disturbances, suicidal tendencies and can even pose a threat to the newborn baby.

It demands immediate medical attention including the administration of anti-psychotic drugs and hospitalization.

Women over 35 when they give birth for the first time were 2.4 times more likely to develop postpartum psychosis than those younger than 19, according to the study, which was based on data gathered from all the nearly 750,000 first time mothers who gave birth in Sweden between 1983 and 2000.

While some 80 percent of new mothers experience some kind of mental disturbance or light depression, only about in 1,000 women suffer from actual psychosis in the first months, after giving birth, the study showed.

The Karolinska research indicated nearly 50 percent of the cases appeared in women “without prior psychotic hospitalization.” However, most women who suffer from psychosis have prior psychotic histories.

The study meanwhile showed that factors including smoking and not living with the baby’s father had no impact on whether a women develop postpartum psychosis.