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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michelle Field-Chez, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book on postpartum depression and psychosis after childbirth covers treatment, diagnosis, and prophylaxis based on the author's premise is that this disease has a hormonal, not a psychological, etiology and thus treatment must center around this assumption. All chapters have been fully revised and brought up to date.
Purpose: The purpose is to help women who are suffering with either postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis know how to recognize their symptoms, and know options for their treatment and prophylaxis.
Audience: The author does not specify for whom this book is intended in addition to women who are suffering with this disease. However, I feel that this book could be very helpful to family members caring for the patient, healthcare workers, and mental healthcare workers.
Features: The author skillfully describes signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Three women's accounts of their disease and treatment are provided. A chapter is devoted to the hormonal changes a woman goes through during pregnancy and another chapter is devoted to progesterone as a molecule and its receptors. This paves the way for the author to describe her method of treating and preventing postpartum depression and psychosis by the use of the hormone progesterone. The author also devotes space to other treatments and prophylaxis such as psychopharmacology, counseling, diet, and stress management. There is also a chapter on the stress of working and mothering. At the end of the book there are referrals, references for the author's extensive scientific publications, and a list suggesting additional readings on postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, and premenstrual syndrome.
Assessment: I would highly recommend this book. It is descriptive and provides helpful information for treatment. Although the scientific community does not currently accept hormonal treatments as definitively helpful, this author's extensive experience with patients and her great success with this treatment warrants reviewing.