By Jessica Harrison, LCSW
This is my wrinkled, coffee-stained, well-loved copy of The Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook by Pamela S. Wiegartz, Ph.D. and Kevin L. Gyoerkoe, Psy.D. It's definitely a resource worth sharing.
Postpartum depression has become a part of the vernacular in many communities, thanks in large part to advocacy efforts emphasizing routine screening and increased training in health care settings. Online and/or phone support networks, such as Baby Blues Connection (local to Portland, OR), Postpartum Support International, and Postpartum Progress, are increasingly common. Because of this work, more families are receiving appropriate support and postpartum outcomes are improving.
On the heels of this success, we are working to broaden the mainstream conversation to include pregnancy/postpartum anxiety. Though it is a mouthful, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) is the most encompassing term to capture the diverse mental health issues in pregnancy and postpartum. (You can find a detailed symptom list here.)
I use The Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook weekly, if not daily, in my therapy practice. Full of accessible descriptions and effective skill-building activities, it addresses an array of anxiety-related topics including generalized worry, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and posttraumatic stress. Furthermore, the book includes helpful chapters about men and postpartum depression, supporting a partner who suffers from a PMAD, and relapse prevention following recovery.
Find a copy here or at your own favorite bookstore, I highly recommend it!