Murdering Mothers

Women may experience one of three types of depression after the birth of a child.  The first is most commonly found in about 50- 80% of women and known as the postpartum blues.  This is a temporary and not very serious depression.  It is not linked with any violent crimes.  The second one is known as postpartum depression.  It is more serious and severe than the blues and occurs in about 7-17% of women.  A very rare but serious diagnosis can be found in about 1 in every 1,000 women.  It is known as postpartum psychosis.  This is apparently what Andrea Yates was suffering from at the time she murdered her children.  There are very few of these cases that can be found through out history.  However, the term and diagnosis of postpartum psychosis was first described in 1797.

There are two types of infanticide (the killing of ones children).  These categorizes include neonaticide and filicide. Neonaticide is described as the killing of a newborn within 24 hours of birth.  Filicide is the killing of a child after 24 hours of birth.  The murdering of children by their mothers has been occurring since the beginning of time.  A researcher names Resnick found that women who commit neonaticide tend to not have any psychological problems.  They are generally young women who try to hide the birth of their baby.  Whereas 2/3 of women who commit filicide tend to have psychological problems.  These mothers genuinely believe that their children will be better off dead.

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