Pregnant women are expected to glow, and new mothers are expected to bask in the delight of their baby. But for some women, this is a time of unsettling mood shifts and uncertainty. One in ten women experience clinical depression either during pregnancy or in the postnatal period, while the majority of new mothers face the 'blues', anxiety and other emotional changes.
Overcoming Baby Blues shares intimate stories of mothers' experiences with depression and other mood problems during pregnancy and their baby's first year. Their stories shine with wisdom, humour and fortitude. Also included are research-based guidelines on assessing moods, causes of perinatal depression, and effective management strategies. Safety of medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding is covered, as are suggestions for adapting diet and lifestyle to reduce symptoms, and advice for partners.
'Every woman expects to be flooded with joy during pregnancy and after birth and when that doesn't happen, it can be terribly lonely and distressing. This book is a fantastic read for every woman struggling with the idea and the reality of being a new mother. You're not alone.' - Mia Freedman, Mamamia
'I had post natal depression and felt like a failure. It's hard to admit you're not coping with all the pressure to be a ''happy, wonderful'' mum. I hope this book will help you discover there is a way through.' - Jessica Rowe, broadcaster and writer
Professors and practitioners Parker, Eyers, and Boyce draw on their work with Australia's Black Dog Institute, a world-class center for mood disorder diagnosis and treatment, and on patients' own first-person stories, in this caring and comprehensive handbook for dealing with pregnancy-related depression. Initial chapters give a technical overview of screening, diagnosis, and treatment options, distinguishing between the baby blues that affect the majority of new mothers, the perinatal depression (PND) which strikes one in eight women, and the rarer, but even more serious, problem of puerperal psychosis or bipolar disorder. Adopting a kindly, respectful tone, the authors strive to eradicate the stigma of depression with practical and empathetic advice, but the truly convincing testimony comes from the many and varied stories of women working through guilt and feeling relief at asking for, and getting, help. While Australia's maternal care standards (which include home visits, mothercraft nurses, and mother-child centers) are light years ahead of the U.S., American mothers can also learn much from the sage demystification of motherhood and its struggles offered here.