Danish researchers find that first-time mothersâbut not first-time fathersâare at an increased risk for mental disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The risk is greatest in the first three months following childbirth, according to a study published in this weekâs issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Postpartum depression affects between 10% and 15% of mothers and their families. Fortunately, severe psychoses are less common, affecting first-time moms in about one per 1,000 singleton births.
The JAMA study, which was based on data from 2,357,942 people in the Danish health and civil service registers, showed that the risk of postpartum mental illness remained statistically significant for up to three months after giving birth, regardless of the motherâs age.