Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Psychiatric illness following childbirth in Southampton: a case register study

P. N. Notta1 c1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Southampton


The Southampton case register and maternity records were used to identify all Southampton women who had babies in 1976 and 1977 and who had been in psychiatric care in the 2 years before and after the birth date. 127 such women were identified out of a total of 5200 having babies. An analysis of the timing of referral and the total number in care at various stages of the study period confirmed an increased rate of psychosis following childbirth. Rates for other diagnoses showed no such clear relationship. Obstetric and social factors were not related to postpartum morbidity. These results are discussed.


c1 Address for correspondesce; Dr P. N. Nott, University Department of Psychiatry, Royal South Hants Hospital, Graham Road, Southampton SO9 4PE.