Bipolar disorder, pregnancy and childbirth

For women with bipolar disorder childbirth can be a high risk time – women are 23 times more likely to be admitted to psychiatric hospital with bipolar disorder in the month following delivery than at any other time in their life.
woman holding baby against her chest
We know that genetic factors are important, the big hormonal changes that occur after having a baby may be involved and sleep disruption may also play an important role in some women.

For many years our research group has had a particular interest in finding out more about the factors that make some women with bipolar disorder more or less likely to experience episodes of illness in relation to childbirth.

We are currently carrying out research, the BDRN Prospective Study, that we hope will lead to better prediction and treatments for episodes of illness following childbirth in women with bipolar disorder.

We would be delighted to hear from you if:

  • you have bipolar disorder and are pregnant


  • you have bipolar disorder and have ever experienced an episode of postpartum psychosis or any other mood episode following childbirth that required hospital or home treatment

Taking part in our research will involve an interview in your own home during which we will ask if you would be willing to provide a small blood sample. If you are pregnant will also re contact you by telephone 3 months after childbirth to ask you about any symptoms you have experienced in relationship to pregnancy and childbirth.

Please download one of our leaflets for further information about these projects: