A very extensive research that spanned over 3 decades was conducted by Danish researchers. The study proves that 1:1000 women stand the risk of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder soon after their first delivery. Women without children were seldom seen admitted in psychiatric wards. Statistics show that mothers with children stand four times more risk than those who do not have children.
'Men who become fathers are, also unprotected from developing mental illnesses following parenthood and its related stress. But only 0.37 of 1000 report mental illness after becoming fathers.
The first three weeks after delivery, seems to be the time when a woman is prone to fall prey to mental illness. Those women whose children have crossed the age of one seem to be safer from the onslaught of mental illness. The cause of such mental illness soon after delivery in women has been traced to changes that occur in physiology of the mother. The psychosocial changes do not seem to disturb her as much as the drastic hormonal changes. Loss of sleep and the sudden changes in routine demanded by breast-feeding babies seem to take a toll. Almost 15% of mothers seem to be affected by depression, soon after delivery.
Early screening within a couple of weeks after delivery, of primiparous mothers, will help to diagnose mood disorders and to initiate treatment to alleviate symptoms. Mood disorders can be exhausting and usually is followed by severe repercussions to mother and child.