Postpartum Law and Legal Definition

Postpartum generally means after birth. The term has been used in law to refer to a mother's right to stay under hospital care after birth and not be discharged too quickly. For example, a California law requires HMOs and health insurers to cover at least a 48-hour hospital stay for a mother and newborn or to provide for a follow-up exam within two days after discharge.

Andrea Pia Yates used a postpartum psychosis defense sick in her trial for drowning her five children in the family bathtub. Mrs. Yates had been on prescription antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs (which are much stronger), and had been hospitalized twice for depression since her fifth child was born, six months before the killings.