Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Review: "What Am I Thinking?"

What Am I Thinking? Having A Baby After Postpartum Depression

– A Book Review

By Melissa Christiansen, MA, LPC Intern

Supervised by Katrena Hart, MS, LPC Supervisor 

“What Am I Thinking?”

If you suffered from a perinatal mood disorder, it’s understandable that you may question your experience in, or desire for, any subsequent pregnancies.  Instead of peaceful, loving thoughts and cuddling your newborn, you may remember your prior pregnancy and postpartum period filled with sadness, anger, and overwhelming anxiety.  Karen Kleiman’s book “What Am I Thinking? Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression,” offers support and insight as well as treatment strategies and recommendations for women and their families.

Karen Kleiman, MSW, is a well-known expert in the field of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.  She’s written books for clinicians and laypeople alike, and this book is an easy read for mothers, their partners and caregivers.  The book details an array of topics from considering your current mental health status and your relationship status, to the clinical aspects of therapy and treatment. 

Kleiman identifies a personal inventory to consider as you navigate your feelings about having another baby:

1.  Recall what you learned from your first experience:  based on your experience with depression or anxiety, what would you need to do to increase your level of comfort and confidence?  There are a variety of aspects you may consider. Do you require medication*, regular psychotherapy sessions, or a support group during your journey? Do you want a different health care provider or birth setting?  What kind of postpartum care do you need?

2. Build your support network while you are pregnant.   It is normal and right for a mother to have lots of help and support after a birth.  These are people with whom you feel safe and understood.  They are your health care providers, your support group, your family and your friends.  They will care for older children and take over housework as you heal and bond with baby during the postpartum period, and come to your aid should you have another experience with postpartum depression or anxiety.  

3. What your baby needs is a mother who feels supported and healthy.   This is most important of all.  What your child needs is a mother who has her village to help her, who feels validated and understood, and who has the right combination of healthcare for herself and her family.  A mother with a full cup has plenty to share with her children.


*A note on medication use during pregnancy. Be sure to choose a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about treating women for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.  There are many treatment options that are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, including medication.  Visit Texas Tech University’s InfantRisk Center for more information at www.infantrisk.com. The InfantRisk Center is dedicated to promoting research, education and public service pertaining to medication safety for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.


Bridging Harts Institute & Psychotherapy
203 S. Alma St. Suite #300
Allen, TX 75013
T: (972) 562 5002
Email: info@bridgingharts.com


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