After The Stork

couple's guide to preventing and overcoming postpartum depression

Did you know that American men get postpartum depression nearly as often as women do? Or that postpartum depression could be prevented? Far from a biological given, the inevitable consequence of hormonal changes, depression can happen to anyone facing the massive emotional and social changes of bringing home baby—birth parents, adoptive parents, gay and lesbian parents as well as straight parents.

postpartum depression

Men and women experience emotions in response to life, and all emotions are biochemical and neurological events. Men and women in intimate partnership conceive new life together and journey into the great life transition of parenthood. Perhaps most astonishingly, some men experience a kind of psychosomatic pregnancy called the couvade.  Many men, men-normal, non-psychotic, Western men, as 46% by some estimates,  experience somatic symptoms–meaning real physical discomforts, that coincide with the pregnancy of their partner.  These physical symptoms can include more frequent and serious colds, unintentional weight gain, numerous gastrointestinal discomforts, irritability, nervousness, inability to concentrate, headache, restlessness, excessive fatigue, and insomnia. And, what may be more surprising to our Western way of thinking, these physical changes, brought on by emotional changes, can trigger hormonal changes as well.  Although some researchers think these emotionally triggered hormone changes prepare men for a role as involved fathers, hormones, in humans, are never more than one small part of our emotional experience.

postpartum depression

In her book, After the Stork: The Couple’s Guide to Preventing and Overcoming Postpartum Depression, (available in bookstores, or, with a 15% discount from this website), Dr. Rosenquist shows how intricately the mind and body are related and how the many changes that accompany pregnancy (or adoption) and bringing home baby affects a couple for better and for worse.  Dr. Rosenquist explains the psychological as well as interpersonal risk factors for depression and shows how depression after baby can be prevented and how it can be treated.

Praise for After The Stork:

There are few ambitious, successful and comprehensive guides to postpartum depression for non-experts.  Fortunately for us, Dr. Sara E. Rosenquist opens a path for ordinary couples to self-heal.  Using direct lucid prose and everyday examples the author identifies and provides ways to relieve the often underappreciated distress of postpartum depression. I admire this book for its brilliant melding of compassionate insight, fascinating research summarizations, and presentation of exercises, chapter-by-chapter, to be used to restore a sense of well-being.
Elaine Crovitz, Ph.D.
Emeritus Faculty, Duke University Medical School
Diplomate in Clinical Psychology
American Board of Professional Psychology

After the Stork is a detailed and thoughtful guide to challenges that new parents encounter as they make this major life transition.  It offers a wealth of different practical strategies that can be used by parents to minimize or mitigate postpartum depression.  Because it is so evenhanded and thorough in addressing issues that both mothers and fathers may face, it is a must read for couples expecting or welcoming their first child.

James F. Paulson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Eastern Virginia Medical School

As a female ObGyn physician and mother of four, after reading this book – I have insight that may help me be a better mom and wife, but also a better doctor. Dr. Rosenquist’s wisdom is appreciated throughout the book. I appreciate her teaching us why depression can set in after having a child, but also value her detailed steps and advise on how to prevent and overcome it.  I will recommend this book to all my patients and friends.

Andrea Lukes, M.D., MHsc, FACOG
Director, Women’s Wellness Clinic Durham, NC
Founder and Chair of the ObGyn Alliance

Books for professionals are often long on science and short on practicality, while those for non-professionals are often filled with advice not based on scientific facts.  In After the Stork, Dr. Rosenquist has blended the best of both worlds.  Professionals will learn about the daily realities of postpartum depression, and readers with new babies will not only get exceptionally sensible guidance but will discover the science behind it in a format that is fascinating and easy to grasp. This is a must-read for those who care for new parents and can serve as an invaluable roadmap for those who wish to prevent post-partum depression, or overcome it if it has come into their lives.

John C. Linton, PhD, ABPP Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry
West Virginia University School of Medicine, Charleston
co-author of The Handbook of Obesity Intervention for the Lifespan

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