Who Discovered Postpartum Psychosis?

Postpartum psychosis usually occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 births, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Postpartum psychosis is defined as, "an episode of psychosis, either depressive or schizophrenic, after childbirth, says Mosby’s Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary.

Early Literature on Postpartum Psychosis

The earliest literature on postpartum psychosis dates back to the time of Hippocrates.

The 16th and 17th Century

Swedish physician Felix Plater published a case in his book, Praxeos Medicae (1602), followed by a case written by J. Schenck in 1609. However, according to the Archives of Women’s Mental Health, German obstetrician Friedrich Benjamin Osiander published the first full and extensive description of postpartum psychosis in 1797.

Postpartum Psychosis Recognized as a Disorder

Even though several case studies of postpartum psychosis were published, then fully described in 1797, a pregnancy information website, Pregnancy-Info.net claims postpartum psychosis did not receive recognition as a disorder until 1850.

First Complete Description

Friedrich Benjamin Osiander (1759 -1822) is recognized as the first physician to publish a complete description of postpartum psychosis.

Ian Brockington

Currently, physician Ian Brockington dedicates his practice to the study of women’s mental health, especially including postpartum psychosis.Since 1975, Brockington’s clinical practice has included the psychiatry of motherhood. He is the author of Motherhood and Mental Health.

Postpartum psychosis usually occurs in about 1 to 4 out of every 1