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StorkNet's Bookshelf
The Postpartum Husband
Practical Solutions for living with Postpartum Depression
by Karen R. Kleiman, M.S.W.

The impact postpartum depression (PPD) has on a new mother is tremendous, necessitating understanding, support and patience from those who are closest to her, in most cases her partner/husband. Until now, husbands found themselves in darkness, hoping to navigate through this critical area where he is needed most, but without knowledge, instructions or necessary support for himself. Karen Kleiman, M.S.W. has written The Postpartum Husband, a hands-on guide with straightforward, supportive information and specific recommendations to help partners deal with the impact of depression after the birth of a baby!

Symptoms of PPD

If your wife has PPD she is most likely feeling any or all of the following:
irritable, weepy, sad, extremely anxious, scared, nervous, hopeless, exhausted, inadequate as mother and wife, disinterested in sex, unable to experience pleasure, worried about her negative, intrusive thoughts, confused, unable to concentrate, unable to sleep, unable to eat, worried she is going crazy, concerned this will never get better, afraid you will leave her, guilty or ashamed about how she is feeling.

Some physical symptoms may include:
stomach problems/nausea, shortness of breath, headaches, lightheaded or feeling "unreal," numbness/tingling, chills/hot flashes, trembling, palpitations

Written specifically for husbands and partners, The Postpartum Husband is a tool that speaks in the male language, with bulleted facts, explanations, descriptions, falsehoods, truths, suggestions, tips, hints, and resources. Most males I know would prefer to thumb through a book that is concise, clearly labeled and practical. Husbands dealing with the effects of PPD in their families want quick information and answers to their worries and questions. They will be able to thumb through short lists of helpful information rather than weed slowly through paragraphs of technical jargon or extra fluff that hangs around the periphery of their immediate needs. Author Karen Kleiman has taken great care to provide a book that is easy to navigate and use as a quick resource yet tackles all aspects of concern regarding PPD from a husband's perspective.

Each chapter includes a variety of related issues such as identifying and understanding PPD, coping with underlying symptoms, choosing treatments and/or medication, as well as discussion regarding the needs of the husband. The author is quite frank about what to expect, what will help and what will not. She is specific regarding what impact certain behaviors and messages will have on the new mother. She tackles the impact PPD has on sexual function, as well as how to handle that. Lastly, but very important, Karen Kleiman reminds the husband of the importance of taking care of himself. He may need support himself! She reminds him of the heavy load he is carrying and how important his own well-being is to the family unit.

StorkNet highly recommends this book to expectant and new fathers. Whether your wife experiences PPD or not, you will be prepared. You will be able to share support during the changes and adjustments that come normally during the first year of parenthood, but The Postpartum Husband will take you further than that, if necessary.

StorkNet also 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.

Book review by Nancy Eggleston

To Purchase:
   • The Postpartum Husband at Amazon.com
   • The Postpartum Husband at Amazon UK
   • The Postpartum Husband at Amazon Canada

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