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Why Perinatal Depression Matters (Pinter & Martin Why it Matters) Paperback – 24 Sep 2015
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About the Author
Mia Scotland is a clinical psychologist and birth doula. She has been helping mothers deal with depression for more than 20 years. Her particular passion is for the psychology of birth, and for understanding how good preparation is key to a positive birth experience. She teaches midwives about the psychology of normal birth and hypnosis for childbirth on a regular basis. She has three children, and lives in Melton Mowbray, UK.
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Psychologist Mia Scotland creates a very vivid picture of what perinatal depression is, for those who have never experienced it, and then sets it firmly in its cultural context. The central theme here is support, the concept of the village that it takes to raise a child, and how hard it is in these modern times to manage without this. Her writing style is strong and clear, and she includes a great explanation of research and evidence, and the limitations of applying these to individual circumstances. I found the whole book to be excellently evidence-based and sensible, and at the same time striking a mother-centred and deeply feminist tone.
Even though the section on actual therapy for perinatal depression is quite small, the book offers a range of preventative strategies that would certainly be useful for most new parents. Rather than simply exhorting the mother to seek support or take care of herself, Scotland has plenty of practical ideas about how she can do this, and how other people can help.
This is a sensible, informative book, which I would recommend to parents, expectant parents, and people who work with parents: an absolute must-read.
The author spells out exactly what mothers are faced with, something I feel I had just accepted but seeing it written down in black in white (all of the obstacles and lack of support) made me realize that actually I am doing a good job and a very worthwhile job and not to undervalue myself - which was a factor in my low self-esteem.
It is not a book that will help in concrete ways to combat perinatal depression as that is only covered in one chapter but it does really help in the understanding of why women (and men - great that this is covered) who have had peri-natal depression feel as they do and helps us not to blame ourselves. It also helped me to view myself in a much more positive light in my role as a mother. The other really positive thing is that it is a small book, very handy for popping in your bag and doesn't seem like a daunting read, very easy to pick up which is what we busy Mums need!
This book is a wise and compassionate voice. It's small but information-packed - no superfluous content here. The role of the father is also tackled, so it's not just a mum-focussed book. I would recommend it for health professionals working with pregnant/ postnatal women as well as couples/ women.