Monthly Archives: June 2008

Very Busy Weekend

I heard Cameron rustling about at 5 this morning so I rolled out of bed looking forward to some quiet nursing time with him.

Turns out the girls were awake too. I just got them down for nap and have had them to entertain since rising this morning. We did quite a bit, actually. We made Banana Nut muffins for breakfast (from a box) then they played with play-doh while I made pretzels (from scratch). We watched some TV and did some silly stuff too but hey – that’s what Saturday mornings are for, right?

My parents are in transit from VA as I type so they will be here for Cameron’s dedication tomorrow.

I’ve got homemade pizza dough doing a final rise in the oven as I am hoping to make a delicious deep dish pizza. Being a good Jersey girl at heart, I’m not too sure of the proper process so I had to do some research. Hopefully it’ll come out properly.

I’m about to take a nap as I certainly have earned it!

If we get good pictures tomorrow, I will share them with you!

Therapy and the Postpartum Woman by Karen Kleiman

Karen Kleiman, a wonderfully dedicated therapist to the PPD world,  has authored yet another wonderful book, Therapy & the Postpartum Woman. Available for pre-order now,  this book will release in September and is written for the benefit of both clinicians and women with PPD to maximize the therapy experience on both sides. Click here to pre-order: Therapy & the Postpartum Woman

Here’s an excerpt of what Shari Lusskin, MD says in the foreword of the Therapy & the Postpartum Woman:

Ms. Kleiman presents a theoretical framework in which the therapist “mothers the mother” by acting as the “good” mother, who “must achieve that equilibrium between absolute support and appropriate boundaries.” Using compelling patient narratives, she demonstrates just how to achieve that balance in order to teach the patient how to develop confidence in her own skills as a mother. There is a treasure trove of “clinical pearls” in this eminently readable book, which even the most experienced clinician will be able to use right away. For those new to the field, and for patients and their loved ones, the book offers a wealth of information on the nature of postpartum depression as a medical illness and the psychosocial issues that arise when a woman is faced with caring for a baby. Ms. Kleiman describes how the medical community tends to minimize the complexity of these issues and use a “one size fits all” approach to treating depression. Readers will learn to be more effective advocates for proper treatment of perinatal depression. Therapists will also learn how to draw from their own experiences to facilitate the human connection between therapist and patient at a time when women feel isolated by shame and insecurity. Together, the therapist and the patient can work towards discovering the innate resilience that has allowed women to raise children even in the most extreme circumstances. Ms. Kleiman has developed a humanistic approach to psychotherapy for postpartum mood disorders that gives recognition to psychodynamic theory, but then uses many cognitive–behavioral techniques to reach well-defined goals. Therapy and the Postpartum Woman is an elegantly written book that not only offers practical advice but also does so in a way that will touch the lives of both patients and therapists. It is destined to become a classic for those experiencing or treating perinatal mood disorders.

Sharing the Journey with Michael Lurie

I first saw Michael Lurie on a Fox Morning program and immediately thought how wonderful it was for him to be sharing his story as it is very rare indeed to get a glimpse into the postpartum experience from a father’s perspective. In his book, My Journey to Her World: How I Coped with My Wife’s Postnatal Depression, Michael is transparently open and honest with the events as they unfolded. Familiar with his wife’s previous depressive episodes, her postnatal experience and his subsequent depression went well beyond anything either of them could have ever fathomed. I am honored to share his words with you here and sincerely hope that you will share them with the men in your lives. Michael has been extremely gracious and kind (we’ve had technical difficulties in pulling this together – our emails weren’t the greatest of playmates!) in completing this and I thank him for his patience. I also thank him for his bravery in forging such a valuable addition to resources available for fathers with partners suffering from postpartum depression.


Click here to purchase your own copy of
My Journey to Her World

My Journey to Her World by Michael Lurie (cover)

How hard was it for you to witness your wife’s struggle with Postpartum Depression? What were some of the emotions you went through?

Very difficult to heartbreaking. Some emotions I went through were:

Helplessness- not being able to make things better quickly

Disbelief- I couldn’t believe things hag gotten so bad

Anger- Angry with G-d for Kate’s illness. Anger at family and friends who I felt did not fully understand the severity of the situation

Fear- that Kate may harm herself and the baby

At what point did you decide to write your book, My Journey to Her World?

Following several months of watching Kate deteriorate, I started brainstorming my thoughts on a piece of paper t try and get some cathartic release. A I wrote down my thoughts, I realized that this was a story that needed to be told to others in order to help others and avoid the frustration I felt at not having a resource spec ifically aimed for men.


Has becoming a Father changed you?

It has given me a sense of unconditional responsibility and love to my children which will last the rest of my life.

What aspect of being a Father is the most challenging? The Least?

Most challenging- the constant feeling of responsibility for another human being who is totally dependent on you.

Least challenging- the ability to unconditionally love your child.

How difficult was it to accept your own experience with depression during this time? Do you feel it brought you closer to your wife and allowed you to better understand her?

It was very difficult to accept my position and I need it confirmed by a third party (doctor) before acknowledging it. It did bring me closer to my wife as I got a small ‘taste’ of what a sufferer of depression goes through.

What are some things you did to actively support your wife during her episode of Postpartum Depression?

I ensured that she was functional even at her worst point and asked her to do even the smallest of chores- e.g. help m e fold the laundry.

I acknowledged her feelings and let her release emotions without questioning whether they were rational or not.

I ensured that on a practical level, there was nothing to worry about

I respected her need at times to be alone

I made her feel 100% comfortable to tell me how she was feeling at any time of day or night

Just as women with PPD learn that taking care of themselves is important, this is a lesson that Fathers should heed as well. What do you do on a regular basis to feed your soul and ensure that you stay in a good place?

Nurture and develop your hobbies and interests. Remember that you are first and foremost an individual who needs to look after them self in order to look after others.

Did PPD strengthen or weaken your marriage? Do you feel that you both are in a better place now than prior to PPD?

It strengthened it as it made us more committed to one another.

It made me appreciate my wife more for overcoming it and being such a fantastic mother

I would not say we are in a better place now as we were in a good place beforehand. I would say we are in a different place now as we have the realization and experience of PPD and its devastating effects.

What do you find to be the best part of being a Father?

The privilege of providing love and care for a child and seeing them develop into fulfilled and content people


If there was one piece of advice you could give to an expectant father (new or experienced), what would it be and why would this be important for him to hear?

Talk to people and if there is a problem – seek help. Don’t suffer alone.

Hey Dads – PPND Online Forum Just for you!

If you’re suffering from Paternal Postnatal Depression and are feeling all alone then I have some AMAZING news for you.

Dr. Will Courtenay has a forum at his website, www.postpartummen.com where you can post your concerns and get advice from other dads who have been where you are or still struggling. A great solace lies in finding others on the same journey.

Click here to go directly to the forum.

(and guys – if you’re interested, Dr. Courtenay has just posted at the forum about the possibility of doing a FREE support conference call if there’s enough interest. If this is something you think you’d benefit from, let him know!)