Although the incidence of suicide among women who have given birth during the past 12 months is lower than that of
women who have not given birth, suicide remains one of the most common causes of death during the year following
delivery in high-income countries, such as Sweden.
The maternal suicide ratio was 3.7 per 100 000 live births for the period 1980–2007, with small magnitude variation over
time. The suicide ratio was higher in women born in low-income countries (odds ratio 3.1 (95% CI 1.3–7.7)).
Violent suicide methods were common, especially during the first 6 months postpartum. In all, 77 women had received
psychiatric care at some point, but 26 women had no documented psychiatric care. Antenatal documentation
of psychiatric history was inconsistent. At postpartum discharge, only 20 women had a plan for psychiatric
Suicide prevention calls for increased clinical awareness and cross-disciplinary maternal care approaches to identify and
support women at risk.
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