Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Pregnant and postpartum clients can have unique therapy needs.  The social and family pressures, combined with changing hormones and medical concerns, can make this life event difficult for some people. It is important that clinicians understand how to best serve this population. The books below have been recommended by therapists who specialize in this niche.

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therapy and the pregnant or postpartum woman Therapy and the Postpartum Woman: Notes on Healing Postpartum Depression for Clinicians and the Women Who Seek their Help by Karen Kleiman

This book provides a comprehensive look at effective therapy for postpartum depression. Using a blend of professional objectivity, evidence-based research, and personal, straight-forward suggestions gathered from years of experience, this book brings the reader into the private world of therapy with the postpartum woman. Based on Psychodynamic and Cognitive-Behavioral theories, and on D.W. Winnicott’s “good-enough mother” and the “holding environment” in particular, the book is written by a therapist who has specialized in the treatment of postpartum depression for over 20 years. Therapy and the Postpartum Woman will serve as a companion tool for clinicians and the women they treat.



pregnant or postpartum mood and anxiety disorders

Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Clinician’s Guideby Cheryl Tatano Beck &‎ Jeanne Watson Driscoll

Designed for clinicians delivering postpartum care, including midwives, OB-GYN nurse practitioners, and women’s health practitioners, this text overviews the six different mood and anxiety disorders, and provides the implications for practice, and screening tools.





pregnant and postpartum mood disorders

Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders: Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Health Care Practitioner edited by Susan Dowd Stone &‎ Alexis E. Menken

Over the past three years, pregnancy related mood disorders have become the focus of health care advocates and legislators alike with subsequent reflection in nationwide media. Statistics on the prevalence of perinatal mood disorders suggest that up to 20% of women experience diagnosable pregnancy related mood disorders. The growing recognition of these common disorders, coupled with an increasing knowledge base about the dire consequences of untreated maternal depression, has propelled this issue to the fore of national public health priorities.

This book offers a major resource for healthcare professionals, mental health professionals, and medical, nursing, psychology, and social work students who will be confronting this problem in their practices. The contributions, by renowned experts, fill a glaring gap in the knowledge professionals need in order to successfully manage maternal mental health.


pregnant and postpartum doula revolution

Doula Revolution: Transforming your Mind, Body and Spirit. Workbook and Journal to Heal your Secondary Trauma and Prevent Burnout by Agathe C. Pierre-Louis Psy.D

Doula Revolution: Transforming your Mind, Body and Spirit is a workbook for doula professionals to heal from their experiences with secondary stress trauma symptoms and prevent burnout. This is the first workbook available for doulas to manage the emotional impact of their profession. Doulas are at risk for secondary stress trauma due to the nature of the profession. A doula’s strong alliance with her clients, repeated exposure to clients’ traumatic birth and a doula’s own personal trauma can create an inducement for emotional breakdown. The secondary trauma symptoms may resemble symptoms of depression or anxiety, consequently, its existence may be easily denied. The benefits of processing one’s emotions are that it produces healing. When one acknowledges one’s pain, it decreases symptoms and strengthens one’s ability to manage the stressors more effectively. This book consists of realistic tools that are obtained by completing worksheet activities and journal writings that have transformative power. I encourage every doula and other birth providers to take the time for self-care on a mental health and emotional level and process their experience. Know you are worth it!!!

pregnant and postpartum anxiety workbook

The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook: Practical Skills to Help You Overcome Anxiety, Worry, Panic Attacks, Obsessions, and Compulsionsby Pamela S. Wiegartz &‎ Kevin L. Gyoerkoe

New moms have a lot to be anxious about, and it’s perfectly natural to have some fears during and after pregnancy. The problem is, anxiety can grow, disrupting your daily life and keeping you from enjoying motherhood. The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook provides proven-effective strategies drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for keeping anxious thoughts at bay and getting back to the productive and positive thinking you’ve been missing.

Through a series of easy exercises and worksheets, you’ll learn skills for relaxing yourself when you feel stressed. You’ll also learn to reduce the frequency and intensity of anxious feelings many pregnant women and mothers of infants face. The book also includes a chapter that offers tips to help fathers understand and support their partners.

pregnant and postpartum mothering the new mother

Mothering the New Mother: Your Postpartum Resource Companion by Sally Placksin

Offers new mothers professional guidance to home health care, postpartum depression, breast-feeding problems, negotiation strategies at work, and similar issues, with lists of resources from books to support groups and real-life stories.





doula revolutionThis resource list was originally developed by Agathe C. Pierre-Louis, Psy. D.  She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in women’s maternal health.  She is in private practice in New York and also wrote Doula Revolution: Transforming your Mind, Body and Spirit. Workbook and Journal to Heal your Secondary Trauma and Prevent Burnout.  You can learn more about Dr. Louis at her website or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.




If you know of another book that belongs on this list let us know here or tell us about it in the comments. Make sure you’re also following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.


Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

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