What Happens in Postpartum Psychosis and Who’s at Risk

By Erica Patino
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
March 29, 2023

In the first two weeks after giving birth, it’s common for people to experience “baby blues,” or a shift in their mood. They may feel anxious, have trouble sleeping, cry a lot, or have other big emotions.

For 1 in 7 birthing parents, these feelings extend past the first few weeks, which means they may be experiencing postpartum anxiety or depression. Even fewer may have a more severe mental health concern called postpartum psychosis.

Postpartum psychosis is relatively rare. It occurs in approximately 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 births, or about 0.1-0.2%, according to Postpartum Support International (PSI). But it’s important to be aware of, since it's considered a mental health emergency.