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Pregnancy Blues: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Depression during Pregnancyby M.D. Shaila Kulkarni Misri
Synopses & Reviews
It should be a time of joyous anticipation–the happiest time in a woman’s life. But for many women, the joys of pregnancy are clouded by feelings of fear, sadness, and confusion. And unlike postpartum depression, which is widely portrayed in the media and embraced by the medical community, depression during pregnancy has been rarely discussed and often misunderstood–until now. In this groundbreaking book–the first to focus exclusively on depression in pregnancy–Dr. Shaila Kulkarni Misri, a leading reproductive psychiatrist, draws on her twenty-five years of clinical practice and research to offer hope, help, and healing–as well as a provocative, myth-shattering examination of a subject that has too long been shrouded in darkness.
The numbers are surprising: up to 70 percent of pregnant women experience some degree of depressive symptoms, and of those, 12 percent meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression. Although it is at least as common as postpartum depression, which occurs after a child’s birth, pregnancy-related depression is often cloaked in silence, shame, and denial. Pregnancy Blues lifts the veil on this heartbreaking–and very treatable–
illness, examining the key social and biological factors that can come together during pregnancy to create a climate in which depression and anxiety thrive, as well as offering the many effective treatments that are available. Discover:
• How to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression–and know when to seek help
• The role of female hormones: why women are more vulnerable to depression than men
• How depression can “hide” behind physical complaints, such as back, stomach, or even chest pain
• The unspoken connection between infertility and depression
• The antidepressant controversy: the facts on specific drugs, their safety–and when medication is the right choice
• Breastfeeding and medication–the risks and benefits
Plus helpful self-tests and resources, information on alternative treatment options–from therapy to acupuncture–and much more. A work of daring and compassion, Pregnancy Blues challenges the underlying traditions and beliefs surrounding pregnancy and motherhood–and explores how those misconceptions have led to the drastic underdiagnosis and undertreatment of depression during pregnancy. A must-read for women and those who love them, Pregnancy Blues is at once an extraordinary roadmap to healing and an eye-opening report on a medical issue that no woman can afford to miss.
What every woman needs to know about depression during pregnancy.
CULTURAL MYTHS, CUSTOMS, AMBIGUITIES, AND MISCONCEPTIONS OF WOMANHOOD, PREGNANCY, AND MOTHERHOOD
If some enterprising salesperson were to create a pregnant woman’s coloring book aimed at the North American market, it would surely come packaged with a box containing nothing but pastel crayons with names like Blissful Blue, Perfect Pink, and Mother’s Mauve. No Black Cloud, Blue Funk, or Red Rage in that crayon box! And the mothers outlined in the book for coloring would all be smiling serenely, gazing lovingly into the eyes of their partner—an equally blissed-out expectant father—and, of course, looking nothing less than beautiful.
If that sounds like the Hollywood image of pregnancy, it is certainly the one that’s been sold to Western women, and that Western culture has naively bought into. For the majority of women, it is probably even a fair approximation of the truth. It is not, however, the image of pregnancy that I see every day. And if we look a little more closely at the myths and mixed messages that have historically surrounded fertility, family, and femininity not only in our society but in cultures throughout the world, we can see that—as is so often the case with the images Hollywood has for sale—this is one that may have been meant for viewing through rose-colored glasses.
To begin close to home, let’s take a quick look back at the history of our own North American culture as it has grown from a mainly agrarian to a mainly technological society. In times past, when we tilled fields, worked the land, and subsisted mainly on what a single family could produce for both sale and sustenance, children were important assets. As farmers, ranchers, or even local shopkeepers, we needed those extra hands to work alongside us and help to support us. Fertility and motherhood were, therefore, valued as well, and a woman’s primary role, aside from taking care o
About the Author
Shaila Kulkarni Misri, Md, Frcpc, is one of the leading reproductive psychiatrists in North America and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in women’s mental health and reproductive issues. She is the founder and director of Reproductive Mental Health at both St. Paul’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre in Vancouver, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of British
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Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Pregnancy and Birth