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Article
September 2, 1893

LACTATIONAL INSANITY.Read in the Section of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women, at the Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(10):325-327. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420620001001

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Abstract

Nearly all writers upon insanity describe the mental derangements occurring during pregnancy, the puerperium, and the nursing period under the collective title "puerperal insanity." Careful observation will, however, show certain points of distinction which may be noted, both in the symptomatology as well as in the causative factors of these mental disturbances.

Those authors who classify puerperal insanity into the insanity of pregnancy, of the puerperal period proper, and of the lactational or nursing period, arbitrarily assume that the latter begins six weeks or two months after labor. In a general way this limitation though arbitrary may be accepted, for obstetric authors count as belonging to the puerperium that period of time occupied by the involution of the parturient organs which is usually stated to be six weeks.

Prolonged or excessive lactation is given as the chief cause of insanity occurring during the nursing period. In most cases this is

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