Written by a team of experts from diverse medical and mental health backgrounds, this warm volume explains the risks, diagnostic assessment tools and treatment methods for postpartum depression. The condition is fairly common-the "baby blues affects four out of five mothers, and other postpartum mood or anxiety disorders affect an additional 10-17 percent of mothers." And because postpartum depression often isn't widely discussed, the stories of real women who have suffered and recovered from it could be comforting to women currently experiencing it. Bulleted lists of everything from signs and symptoms to risk factors make this volume easy to read and digest. Quotes from women about how they didn't think it was acceptable to feel this way-"I remember thinking, this isn't right... I didn't want it and I can't even imagine that I might have it"-should also help reassure readers that they aren't alone. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Each year, between 400,000 and 700,000 new mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD). PPD is not the "baby blues" but a more serious condition that is, in fact, the most common perinatal mood disorder and one that is too often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Obviously, there is a pressing need for material on this topic, which these two books meet admirably. In Beyond the Blues, clinical psychologist Bennett and family therapist Indman offer a compact yet surprisingly comprehensive manual on prenatal and postpartum depression. Taking a readable and practical approach, they begin with Bennett's account of her personal bout with PPD and then systematically address screening and assessment, finding a therapist, myths about nursing and bonding, and treatment. Especially interesting and helpful are suggestions for family and friends in dealing with a mother suffering from PPD (if you go to a movie, make sure it's a comedy) and tips on "what to say, what not to say." For health professionals, there are ideas about what to emphasize to patients ("I have never met a woman who, after proper treatment, did not recover"), as well as detailed diagnostic and treatment information. The antidepressant Q&A section is excellent. Conquering Postpartum Depression is written by three authors with complementary backgrounds; Rosenberg is both an obstetrician/gynecologist and a psychiatrist, Deborah Greening is a clinical psychologist, and James Windell practices family therapy. Their combined expertise results in a very complete presentation of PPD that covers risk factors, comprehensive assessment, and multidimensional treatment by a "specialized postpartum treatment team." As in Beyond the Blues, there is a fine chapter on the psychopharmacologic treatment of PPD, plus another on alternative treatments. The authors assert that their treatment recommendations, which are similar to those of Bennett and Indman, have been shown to be effective. They also stress the importance of developing a strong social support network. These books are both important contributions because of the information they provide, the primary difference being one of style. Beyond the Blues is a quick read with an easy-to-handle format; Conquering Postpartum Depression is denser, goes into the issues in somewhat more depth, and covers more ancillary topics. Both are recommended for consumer health and health sciences collections, though for individual purchase by patients Beyond the Blues is probably more appropriate.-Linda M.G. Katz, Drexel Univ. Health Sciences Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.