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From The CriticsReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This soft cover book is one of four in the 2005 Review of Psychiatry Series. This series, published annually by the American Psychiatric Press, publishes titles on selected topics in psychiatry.
Purpose: The purpose of this book, according to the authors, is to address a spectrum of critical areas that inform the clinical care of women during the childbearing years, and to help clinicians collaborate with patients with psychiatric illness who are pregnant or wish to conceive. These are certainly worthy objectives, and the authors meet them.
Audience: The book is written for clinicians who may be treating women with psychiatric diagnoses during their childbearing years. Both psychiatric residents and practicing clinicians would benefit from this book.
Features: The book is divided into five concise, well-written chapters. The first chapter deals with the course of psychiatric illnesses during pregnancy; the authors dispel the commonly held belief that pregnancy is somehow protective of exacerbation of psychiatric disturbance. The second chapter, on treating depression and anxiety disorders during pregnancy, is especially relevant and should be read by all practicing clinicians. The third chapter deals exclusively with bipolar disorder and pregnancy. The remaining chapters cover postpartum mood disorders and breastfeeding. There are no illustrations, but several tables are scattered throughout. Each chapter is followed by an extensive reference list. A helpful index is found at the back.
Assessment: This series has always been an excellent review of relevant topics in psychiatry, and this book is no exception. In five concise, well-written chapters, the authors offer invaluable guidance in treating women during pregnancy and the post partum period. All clinicians should have a copy of this book on their shelf for easy referral. This would be an excellent addition to any clinician's library.