Are You Working with Postpartum Women?

Women have been telling me, for almost 30 years, what they need, what they want, to help them recover. Most of what has been written in my books, came directly from their voices and their experiences. Postpartum women are very tuned in to what works, what doesn’t work, their sensibilities are often on hyper alert […]

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12 Things Your Therapist* Wants You to Know About Negative, Intrusive, Scary Thoughts

DISCLAIMER: These points refer to therapists who have been trained to treat perinatal depression and anxiety. If you do not feel like you are in the presence of a therapist you can trust or if you find yourself questioning his or her level of expertise in this area, please find yourself another therapist. We can […]

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Postpartum Psychosis Emergency Room Guidelines|

Postpartum Psychosis Emergency Room Guidelines You cannot afford to miss this diagnosis. Postpartum psychosis occurs in approximately 1-2 out of every 1,000 deliveries. The clinical onset is rapid, with symptoms occurring as early as the first 48 to 72 hours postpartum, although the majority of episodes develop within the first 2 weeks after delivery. Postpartum psychosis is […]

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My Story

Like many moms, when I received the news that I was pregnant with my first baby, I was elated. I spent the next ten months… yes, ten, she was very late… preparing in all the ways that baby and pregnancy magazines tell you to. I cleaned everything with toothpicks, I painted rooms, (well ventilated, of […]

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Choose Life

Many of you who have read my books or attending my trainings are familiar with the metaphor closest to my heart, that of a butterfly, and how we use it to symbolize joy during postpartum healing. If you are not familiar with it, click here to read the post from Psychology Today on the subject. Today, I was reminded of […]

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Is Suicide Contagious?

Published on August 13, 2014 by Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW in This Isn’t What I Expected PSYCHOLOGY TODAY     While much of the entertainment world and its devoted audience continue to grapple with the abrupt death of a beloved public figure, the loss of Robin Williams seems to have triggered an avalanche of panic […]

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PPSC SUICIDE ASSESSMENT

SUICIDE ASSESSMENT FOR A POSITIVE EPDS SCREEN (#10)  Are you asking the hard questions? Do not make the mistake of thinking that she looks too good to be that sick. Every single woman who walks into your office could be having thoughts of hurting herself.  Regardless of how she looks, what she says, how she […]

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An Open Letter to Postpartum Therapists Treating Women With Scary Thoughts

Women have been telling me, for almost 30 years, what they need, what they want, to help them recover. Most of what has been written in my books, came directly from their voices and their experiences. Postpartum women are very tuned in to what works, what doesn’t work, their sensibilities are often on hyper alert […]

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Scary Thoughts. A Mother’s Worst Fear.

It has been described how one’s own mind can “try to torment you with the thoughts of whatever it is you consider to be the most inappropriate or awful thing you could do” (Baer).  Lee Baer, Ph.D., Harvard professor and author, describes how a person’s most vulnerable self can become engulfed by thoughts that cut […]

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Talk About Your Postpartum Depression

We hear a lot about postpartum depression these days. What it is, what it isn’t. Not everyone agrees on the definitions, even healthcare providers demonstrate variable degrees of knowledge in this specialized field. If you are pregnant or if you recently have had a baby, and are not feeling well, try not to focus on […]

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Are There Still Gaps in Screening?

Published on October 29, 2013 by Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY This Isn’t What I Expected In healthcare or clinical settings where women are presumably in the care of providers who are well-equipped to provide relief, women who harbor scary thoughts remain reluctant to reveal what they are thinking.  When women are asked specifically if they […]

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This Isn’t What I Expected: Prologue

Prologue by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin   When we wrote the first comprehensive guide for postpartum depression, This Isn’t What I Expected, almost two decades ago, we surely hoped that things would be different by now: mothers wouldn’t feel so much pressure to be perfect, the link between hormones and postpartum depression would be well […]

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Talk About Postpartum Depression and Psychosis #ForMiriam

Every time a young mother and/or her child(ren) dies tragically, we rally to raise awareness. The media scrambles for experts who sometimes purport accurate explanations and sometimes they perpetuate misinformation. This is an occupational hazard that goes with the territory. No one would argue that raising awareness is exactly what we should be doing. Our […]

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Postpartum Psychosis: What you might not know

Published in Psychology Today on October 6, 2013 by Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW in This Isn’t What I Expected When most people imagine someone with psychosis, thoughts of unbridled madness come to mind. What does that look like? How do you imagine insanity would reveal itself? Are you convinced you would be able to identify someone suffering from […]

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The Indescribable Pain – Trigger alert

I thought some of you might relate to this poem. It was written years ago by the sister of an old friend of mine, a prolific poet.  Valerie and I originally found the poem, titled “Postpartum” when we first published “This Isn’t What I Expected” and used an excerpt from it as one of our […]

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