This Isn't What I Expected
Overcoming Postpartum Depression
by Karen R. Kleiman, M.S.W. and Valerie D. Raskin, M.D.
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.
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
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
- 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
- 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
• 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