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StorkNet's Bookshelf
This Isn't What I Expected
Overcoming Postpartum Depression

by Karen R. Kleiman, M.S.W. and Valerie D. Raskin, M.D.

All women approach childbirth and new motherhood with expectations and anticipation, yet few are prepared for the realities that accompany the first year of parenthood. For some, the adjustment may include a common illness called postpartum depression, also known as PPD. Sleep deprivation, fatigue, colic, dramatic hormonal changes, medical complications, absence of support, genetic disposition and depression are all factors that can contribute to PPD.

Unfortunately, many women who experience PPD do not seek or get the help that they need. The good news is that now we have excellent resources such as This Isn't What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression, written by Karen R. Kleiman, M.S.W. and Valerie D. Raskin, M.D., a book which thoroughly examines all aspects of PPD and offers advice and support so that women can best understand and work with their symptoms.

Stress Reducers

1.) Leave the beds unmade. Close the bedroom door if you don't want any unexpected visitors to see.
2.) Take a nap while the baby naps. If everyone keeps repeating this advice, isn't it time to try it?
3.) Take a bath using scented bath oil, or wear perfume. Don't wait for a special occasion -- do it for yourself. A wonderful fragrance sends a subconscious message that you are special and attractive.
4.) Wear wrinkled clothes.
5.) Simplify dinner: Replace a salad with sliced cucumbers. Replace a casserole with broiled chicken that you simply rub with oil and a sprinkle of garlic.
6.) Simplify your housework! Do the same chores less often or do fewer chores until you feel better. For example, it is okay to change your sheets less often!
7.) Have pizza delivered; ask your husband to bring home take-out food; treat yourself to an occasional grocery delivery service. Many grocery stores offer this for a small fee.

The book written in a fashion that makes this an excellent read, either from cover to cover, or as a quick reference book. Each section is labeled clearly so that the reader can quickly locate information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, coping mechanisms, medication information, support, and much more. Examples are given, sample questions are answered, and common complaints are included. Advice is compassionate, honest and clear, offering the new mother a supportive and descriptive understanding of postpartum depression as well as explore her treatment options and how to locate and accept support.

The reader will learn how to:

  • Identify the symptoms of PPD and distinguish it from the much less severe "baby blues"
  • Break the cycle of shame and negative thoughts
  • Deal with panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive urges, and postpartum emergencies
  • Mobilize support from husband or partner, family, and friends
  • Seek and evaluate treatment options, including medication, psychotherapy and self-help groups
  • Address the disappointment and loss of self-esteem that accompany motherhood complicated by PPD
  • And much more

Our author understands that it isn't enough to identify PPD and give options for how to manage this form of depression. She follows up with questions and answers about recovery and after. StorkNet highly recommends This Isn't What I Expected as a major resource in understanding of and healing from PPD.

Be sure to read our interview with Karen R. Kleiman, M.S.W. Visit our Postpartum Depression Cubby with more questions and answers by Ms. Kleiman.

Book review by Nancy Eggleston

To Purchase:
   • This Isn't What I Expected at Amazon.com
   • This Isn't What I Expected at Amazon UK
   • This Isn't What I Expected at Amazon Canada

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