Clinical Point of View

Beck, C. T., Driscoll, J., & Watson, S. (2013). Traumatic childbirth. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Author Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, has done extensive research on postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and developed the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS). Author Jeanne Watson Driscoll, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, specializes in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for women with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Author Sue Watson is a childbirth educator and co-founder of the TABS (Trauma and Birth Stress) Charitable Trust. This book discusses current research on traumatic childbirth with three case studies. Topics include risk factors, perspectives from both parents, long-term impacts on mothers and families, and treatment recommendations.


Broderick, S., & Cochraine, R. (2013). Perinatal loss: A handbook for working with women and their families. London: Radcliffe Pub.

Written by an obstetrician/gynecologist and a counselor, this book offers detailed professional guidance for nurses, doctors, midwives, and morticians working with patients experiencing pregnancy loss and neonatal death. While there are no case studies, the authors have extensive experience in this realm, and offer compassionate advice for emotionally supporting grieving parents, as well as discussing challenges for healthcare staff.


Cox, J. L., Holden, J., & Henshaw, C. (2014). Perinatal mental health: The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). London: RCPsych Publications.

Author John Cox is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Keele University Medical School, UK, and past-President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Author Jeni Holden is a retired psychology lecturer and has trained clinicians in the care of perinatal women. Cox and Holden developed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale with Ruth Sagovsky. Author Carol Henshaw is a perinatal mental health consultant and lecturer in psychiatry. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a questionnaire designed to screen for postnatal depression in health care settings. This practical guide discusses the background of the EPDS, its uses in research and the clinical setting, and its cultural validity.


Kendall-Tackett, K. A. (2010). Depression in new mothers: Causes, consequences, and treatment alternatives. London: Routledge.

Author Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA, specializes in women’s health and has published extensively on the topics of breastfeeding, depression, and trauma. In this book, she addresses postpartum depression, including risk factors, assessment, and community intervention. Treatment options are outlined comprehensively and include alternative and complementary treatments, psychotherapy, and medications.


Lara-Cinisomo, S., & Wisner, K. L. (2013). Perinatal depression among Spanish-speaking and Latin American women: A global perspective on detection and treatment. New York: Springer.

Co-editor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Co-editor Katherine Leah Wisner, MD, is the Director of the Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders. This reference tome focuses on perinatal depression among Latina populations in Mexico, Chile, Spain, and the United States. Chapters address characteristics of these populations, barriers to care, and cultural considerations involved in assessment and treatment. Research findings are supplemented with case studies and an autobiographical narrative.


Martin, C. R. (2011). Perinatal Mental Health: A clinical guide. Keswick: M & K Update Ltd.

As the title suggests, this is a clinical guide focusing on mental health of parents and partners before, during, and after pregnancy. Editor Colin R. Martin, RN, PhD, YCAP, AFBPsS, is Chair in Mental Health at the University of the West of Scotland and has a longstanding research interest in perinatal health. This guide is organized thematically to facilitate clinical care, and includes sections on maternal mental health, mental health of the partner, roles of healthcare and social workers, screening and treatment options, contemporary issues, and child health. This book is incredibly comprehensive and will be useful for all kinds of patients and all kinds of providers and professionals.


Myers, E. R., United States., Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center, & Effective Health Care Program (U.S.). (2013). Efficacy and safety of screening for postpartum depression. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Evan R. Myers, MD, MPH, is Chief of the Division of Clinical and Epidemiological Research for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Senior Fellow at the Center for Clinical Health Policy Research, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke and an adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This comparative effectiveness review describes the benefits and harms of specific screening tools for postpartum depression. Data sources came from clinical studies published between 2004 and 2012.


Wenzel, A., & Kleiman, K. R. (2014). Cognitive behavioral therapy for perinatal distress. New York: Routledge.

Karen Kleiman, LCSW, has been specializing in treating postpartum depression at the Postpartum Stress Center since 1988. Amy Wenzel, PhD, ABPP, is a clinical psychologist who has practiced cognitive behavioral therapy for almost 20 years. In this book, they discuss the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for pregnant and postpartum women experiencing emotional distress. This text includes examples and guidelines for mental health practitioners.


Zittel, K., & National Association of Social Workers. (2010). Postpartum mood disorders: A guide for medical, mental health, and other support providers. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

Author Kimberley Zittel-Palamara, PhD, is the director of the Postpartum Mood Disorders Initiative at Buffalo State and an associate professor and medical social worker. This book examines theories of postpartum mood disorders, describes various manifestations of postpartum depression and anxiety, and outlines multidisciplinary approaches for treatment.

Additional Recommended Books

Memoirs and Personal Stories include autobiographical books and edited books with the stories of several veterans of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. These books are geared more toward people suffering from postpartum depression, but may be useful for providers and professionals seeking personal narratives to enhance patient care.

Self-Help and Treatment Guides are geared toward both parents and providers and professionals, and include guides to diagnosis, locating practitioners, and various treatments. These may be especially helpful for patients, providers, and professionals to create treatment plans together.