Stolen motherhood-case study of postpartum depression

Aneta Gerhant 1 , Marcin Olajossy 1 , Agata Kalińska 1 , and Agata Miernicka 1
  • 1 2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Medical University of Lublin, Poland


Aim: The objective was to analyze the case of postpartum depression complicated with extended suicide attempt.

Method: The analysis of clinical case and medical history.

Results: In 25-year-old patient, two weeks after childbirth, postpartum depression episode occurred. In the further course of illness psychotic symptoms (delusions, mood disorders), suicidal and infanticide thoughts emerged. Four weeks after childbirth, the patient killed her baby and took an unsuccessful suicidal attempt. Based on medical records, several risk factors of postpartum depression were identified: 1. obstetric and child-related risk factors: Caesarean section, premature birth, obstetric complications during pregnancy, infant’s difficult temper, difficulties related to breastfeeding; 2. psychological risk factors: baby blues, high anxiety level during pregnancy, high level of stress related to child care.

Conclusions: Psychoeducation of women during pregnancy, including their families, is an extremely crucial element of postpartum depression prevention. It is also necessary to raise awareness among healthcare professionals who have frequent contact with mothers after childbirth: midwives, gynaecologists and paediatricians.

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