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Publication Date: 
September, 2019
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This article aimed to systematically locate and critically appraise relevant qualitative research regarding the experience of postpartum psychosis. It also aimed to use a meta-ethnographic approach to synthesize the findings of identified papers and answer the research question, “What is the experience of having postpartum psychosis?” 


Not as much research exists regarding postpartum psychosis as compared to other perinatal mental health disorders, such as postpartum depression. In this meta-ethnography, twelve qualitative studies were examined. Four themes were developed: support needs and preferences; the terrifying and surreal world of postpartum psychosis; stigma and dismissal; and process of recovery. Alongside the four themes identified, consideration of personal appraisals and regaining personal identity may assist with recovery. Women and their families should be part of decision-making and provided with appropriate information throughout treatment. Discourses surrounding postpartum psychosis require particular consideration to avoid stigma and promote early help-seeking. 


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