Chapter 7 - Acute psychiatric illness and drug addiction during pregnancy and the puerperium

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

4 Citations (Scopus)


Pregnancy and the puerperium do not protect against acute psychiatric illness. During puerperium, the chance of acute psychiatric illness, such as a psychotic episode or relapse of bipolar disorder, is greatly increased. Suicide is a leading cause of maternal death. Both psychiatric disease and ongoing drug addiction impact not only the pregnant woman's somatic and mental health but also impact short-term and long-term health of the child. Indeed, prompt recognition and expeditious treatment of acute psychiatric illness during pregnancy and the puerperium optimize health outcomes for two patients. Pregnancy and puerperium represent a stage of life of great physiologic adaptations, as well as emotional and social changes. This conjunction of changes in somatic, emotional health and social health may mitigate the occurrence, clinical presentation, and clinical course of acute psychiatric illness and call for a multidisciplinary approach, taking into account both the medical and social domains. This chapter describes acute psychiatric illnesses during pregnancy and the puerperium and illicit substance abuse, from a clinical perspective, while also describing general principles of diagnosis and clinical management during this stage of life, which is an important window of opportunity for both the pregnant woman and the child.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurology and Pregnancy: Neuro-Obstetric Disorders
EditorsEric A.P. Steegers, Marilyn J. Cipolla, Eliza C. Miller
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)0072-9752
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-52-01-A


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