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Keywords:

  • midwives;
  • postpartum psychosis;
  • recovery

Postpartum psychosis, an emergency psychiatric condition affecting one to two women per 1000 after childbirth, can result in a significant increased risk for suicide and infanticide. Symptoms of postpartum psychosis, such as mood lability, delusional beliefs, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking, can be frightening for the women who are affected and for families and obstetric care providers of those women. Women experiencing postpartum psychosis are often thrust into a mental health system that does not capitalize on the close relational bond that forms between midwives and the women they care for over the course of prenatal care. The purpose of this article is to propose using the Recovery Advisory Group Model of mental illness as a theoretical framework for care of women with postpartum psychosis, to assist midwives in recognizing symptoms, define the role of the midwife in treatment, and learn the importance of becoming part of the psychiatric mental health care team in order to facilitate optimum recovery for women with postpartum psychosis.