Beyond the Baby Blues

Beyond the Baby Blues : Anxiety and Depression During and After Pregnancy

3.55 (29 ratings by Goodreads)
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Most people have heard of post-partum depression. What many people do not know is that anxiety and depression can be experienced during pregnancy, as well, and the impact can be both debilitating and devastating. This book is a unique combination of one woman's story of her struggle with perinatal distress and actionable advice from a professional in the field. Rebecca Fox Starr shares her personal story of marriage, motherhood, prenatal anxiety and depression, severe postpartum anxiety and depression, recovery process and hope for the future. Woven throughout the narrative, Dr. Amy Wenzel, a specialist in the field of Perinatal Mood Disorders, provides readers with clinical information and advice, addressing risk factors, warning signs, definitions and recovery options. Stories from other women who experienced prenatal anxiety or depression are included as well. No longer do women have to suffer in silence, question their symptoms, or try to hide their feelings. Here, readers will see themselves in the narrative and understand that the devastating effects of prenatal and post-partum depression can be confirmed, treated, and managed, giving them hope for a brighter future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 161 x 236 x 18mm | 381g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1442273909
  • 9781442273900
  • 2,104,814

Table of contents

A Happy Story
Chapter 1. First Comes Love: A Pregnant Paws and Other Crazy tales
A Hard Story
Chapter 2: Professional Perspective on Prenatal Distress
Chapter 3: Uncomfortably Numb:
The beginning of My Prenatal Distress
Chapter 4: "I didn't know exactly what it was, but I knew to fear it":
My Prenatal Anxiety and Depression
Chapter 5: Violated Expectations of Magic:
Dr. Amy Wenzel's Clinical Experience with Prenatal Distress
Chapter 6: "I see the light going out in your eyes."
The beginning of My Postpartum Depression
Chapter 7: A bicycle built for two (if that bicycle was actually an ER suite):
My Severe Postpartum Depression
A Hopeful Story
Chapter 8: Support as a Key to Recovery
Chapter 9: Together, Ever After
Chapter 10: Hope
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Review quote

Women who struggle with anxiety and depression during and after pregnancy will feel reassured and no longer alone because of mommy-blogger Starr's brutally honest account of her own mental health battle. She seemed to live a storybook life with loving husband Kenny and daughter Annabelle. But while pregnant with her son, she started down a dark path, and after he was born, negative thoughts wove their way through her brain 'like poison.' She ended up in treatment for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an unspecified feeding disorder that left her clinically malnourished. She tried to hide the cuts she inflicted on her arms. She was a suicide risk. 'Do you know what is worse than feeling deep depression?' she writes. 'Feeling deep depression when the world tells you that you are supposed to be happier than ever.' Starr includes insights from Dr. Amy Wenzel, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Perinatal Psychology (2016), and identity-concealed patient studies. As Starr passionately argues, mental health for moms matters. The less anxious and distressed a pregnant woman and new mother is, the better for everyone. * Booklist, Starred Review * Emotional and candid, this personal pregnancy story delves into Starr's battle with anxiety and depression during and after pregnancy. Interwoven throughout are the clinical insights of Amy Wenzel, a psychologist specializing in perinatal care, who goes beyond the much-discussed topic of postpartum mood disorders to discuss how prenatal anxiety and depression-two lesser-known conditions- can afflict women. In poignant prose, Starr discusses how her behaviors and thoughts shifted from her first pregnancy to her second. She invites the reader in to experience her descent into prenatal anxiety, rife with unreasonable fears and depressive lows: `As my baby grew, and his delivery grew closer, things got worse. My numbness spread. My husband and I drifted.' Starr's open-mic approach also provides generous space for five other women to share their experiences. Erica, a postpartum sufferer, recalls, `I drove over the bridge between my home and my job and pictured myself driving off the edge into the river below.' The contributors offer reassuring advice, such as `Don't feel guilty for having thoughts that carousel through your brain that have no business being there.' This work promises to be a valuable refuge for expectant mothers and their families confronting the specter of prenatal and postpartum depression. * Publishers Weekly * This highly readable and compelling book tells the poignant story about the struggles and triumphs of the author's journey from severe perinatal and postpartum anxiety and depression to health. Along the way it offers sound advice for dealing with this treatable condition and includes the stories of other peri- and postpartum mothers as well. -- Judith S. Beck, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy This book brings urgent attention to the debilitating mental health challenges that can be experienced by pregnant women. As many barriers to treatment currently exist, we are grossly underserving this most vital population. The only way to ensure that fewer women suffer in silence is to minimize the stigma around this topic and this book helps us to take a promising stride in that direction. Starr beautifully weaves together the personal and the factual, allowing the reader to simultaneously learn and understand what this journey can entail. By sharing the story of how she fought for her life, Starr is casting out a lifeline that may save others fighting for theirs. -- Jessica Rutstein Lazarus, PsyD
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About Rebecca Fox Starr

Rebecca Fox Starr is a writer, blogger, podcaster and mental health advocate with an unyielding desire to help other mental health sufferers. Among her greatest accomplishments, Rebecca has used the success of her blog, Mommy, Ever After, to create a private, online forum for women, in which they are able to open up about psychological and social issues that they would otherwise be too afraid to address. Her story has been featured in The New York Times, on ABC News and in all forms of media across the world. Rebecca lives and writes with her husband and two children in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Mommy, Ever After blog can be found at
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Rating details

29 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 21% (6)
4 28% (8)
3 41% (12)
2 7% (2)
1 3% (1)
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