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How should we manage bipolar II disorder in the perinatal period?

  • Jennifer Powell (a1), Manonmani Manoharan (a2) and Joanna Reed (a3)


This reflection summarises the evidence regarding the management of bipolar II disorder in the perinatal period, compares this to the authors’ clinical experience using case studies and considers the treatment of patients in current clinical practice.




Corresponding author

Correspondence: Dr Jennifer Powell, 190 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QT, UK. Email


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American Psychiatric Association (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edn) (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Publishing.
Di Florio, A, Forty, L, Gordon-Smith, K, et al. (2013) Perinatal episodes across the mood disorder spectrum. JAMA Psychiatry, 70: 168–75.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2014) Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health: Clinical Management and Service Guidance (Clinical Guideline CG192). NICE.
Sharma, V, Xie, B, Campbell, MK, et al. (2004) A prospective study of diagnostic conversion of major depressive disorder to bipolar disorder in pregnancy and postpartum. Bipolar Disorder, 16: 1621.
Sharma, V, Sommerdyk, C, Xie, B, et al. (2013) Pharmacotherapy of bipolar II disorder during and after pregnancy. Current Drug Safety, 8: 246–52.
Viguera, AC, Whitfield, T, Baldessarini, RJ, et al. (2007) Risk of recurrence in women with bipolar disorder during pregnancy: prospective study of mood stabilizer discontinuation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164: 1817–24.
Wesseloo, R, Kamperman, AM, Munk-Olsen, T, et al. (2016) Risk of postpartum relapse in bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173: 117–27.
World Health Organization (1992) The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. WHO.



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How should we manage bipolar II disorder in the perinatal period?

  • Jennifer Powell (a1), Manonmani Manoharan (a2) and Joanna Reed (a3)
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