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Psychol Med. 1979 May;9(2):293-300.

Emotional disturbance following childbirth: clinical findings and urinary excretion of cyclic AMP (adenosine 3'5'cyclic monophosphate).


Emotional disturbance was assessed in a group of women in the first few days following childbirth and again 2 months and 1 year following childbirth; the clinical features are described. Variables such as social class, age and parity were not related to the level of emotional disturbance, but a history of marital problems, sexual difficulties, poor relationships with immediate family or disrupted family relationships in childhood were so related. Twenty-four hour urinary excretion of cyclic AMP (adenosine 3'5' cyclic monophosphate) was estimated in the same group of women on 2 occasions in the week following childbirth and again 2-3 months later in approximately one third of the original sample. Excretion of cyclic AMP in the few days following delivery was elevated compared with excretion 2-3 months later, and there was a significant rise in urinary excretion of cyclic AMP between the 1st and 2nd urine collections. Those women showing most emotional disturbance on the 3rd day after delivery and women indicating most mood change in the direction of becoming elated had the highest levels of cyclic AMP in the 2nd urine collection.

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