Journalists, Doctors, Everyone: Let’s Get it Right

Let’s get it right. Lives depend on it. There are, to be sure, tons of complex theories and contradicting explanations when it comes to mental illness and diagnoses. Discussing maternal mental health is no exception. Definitions are blurry, research is not always consistent with what we see in clinical practice, experts challenge existing classifications, and […]

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 […]

Alyson’s Journal

  I have kept a journal since I was pregnant with my first child. The entries are filled with all of the things I love about her, the wonderful, heartfelt moments we have shared and all of the things that she has said and done that have just made my heart melt. I had the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Suffer in Silence

Every time there is media attention to postpartum psychosis, I am approached by journalists with the same question: Does this attention help get the word out, or does it make it worse for postpartum women? It does both. Recently, there seems to be better, more responsible, well-researched attention placed on postpartum tragedies, in particular, naming […]

Why You Must TALK BACK to Your Doctor!

Women have a special relationship with their Obstetricians. The reason may be apparent to many, but once you can talk to someone about your vagina, not to mention, surrender to the medical necessity of invasive inspection, and expose your most vulnerable body parts to essential scrutiny, it often lends itself to, shall we say, an […]

Moms and Children Are Still Dying: It’s time for everyone to get involved

I just hung up the phone with Randy Turner, reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press. Last week he wrote this piece, on the disappearance of 32-year old Lisa Gibson and the death of her two children, 2 year old Anna and 3 month old Nicholas.  On Friday, the news turned even more tragic when they […]

Clinician Note: What Postpartum Women Need

What are postpartum women looking for when they come to therapy? Simply put they are seeking compassion, information, support, reassurance, validation, expertise and guidance. Your capacity to provide some of these without all of these will not sufficiently address the issue at hand as these concepts are inextricably entwined.  You cannot effectively validate without support.  […]

Antidepressants During Pregnancy: Never an easy choice, but…

“Women with prior experience of taking antidepressants and greater illness insight were more likely to use antidepressants during pregnancy.” Interesting, don’t you think? In reviewing the article, Factors Impacting Decisions to Decline or Adhere to Antidepressant Medication in Perinatal Women with Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Deborah Crowley, MD acknowledges the difficult decision to weigh the risks […]

Shameless Self-Promotion: More to follow

NEW BOOK.  Won’t be out for while (end of year?) Title: Tokens of Affection: Reclaiming your marriage after postpartum depression. Written by Karen Kleiman (with Amy Wenzel) Routledge, 2013? (cross your fingers) Finally done! yay! Waiting for the cover, the copy editing, and all the other tediousnesses of publishing (right, that’s not a word) Here’s […]

A Postpartum Woman in Crisis: Don’t Call it Therapy.

  Let’s take a look at what we are really doing when we treat a postpartum woman in therapy.  Most therapists who are interested in pursuing private practice work have been trained with a clinical emphasis during their academic preparation. We were exposed to the conceptual psychodynamic framework and time-honored therapeutic traditions that have proven to make […]

Postpartum Women in Therapy: Are you up to the task?

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. When I was a young girl, my favorite pastime was playing house and of course I was the perfect mother. I held my sweet doll tightly to my chest and promised her a lifetime of whatever she wanted.  I leaned against the giant Oak […]

Domestic Abuse During Pregnancy

The prevalence rate of violence against women during pregnancy is high. Why pregnant women don’t disclose abuse to their healthcare providers •Shame and/or embarrassment •Fear of the abuser and retribution • Belief the abuse is normal and common among couples • Fear of judgmental attitudes • Belief or hope he will change (when the baby comes) • […]

Back To Top