• puerperal psychosis;
  • birth order;
  • female;
  • psychopathology

In a prospective study, 144 consecutive indoor cases of puerperal psychosis were assessed. Their mean age was 24.6 years. A past and a family history of psychosis was present in 12 cases each. According to RDC criteria, a majority of the patients had unspecified functional psychosis. A majority of the cases developed psychosis after the birth of a first child. Puerperal psychosis showed a positive correlation with the birth of a female child. Most of these cases developed psychiatric illness in the first 2 weeks after delivery. When the prevalence of symptoms in the study group was compared with the age-and disease-matched nonpuerperal controls, several differences were statistically significant.