What if my baby isn't healthy? What if I can't handle the pain of labor and delivery? What if something goes wrong? What if I'm not a good mother? Along with the excitement and joy of pregnancy and motherhood, most women experience mild anxiety as a natural part of the process. For many women, though, these anxious thoughts become excessive and even debilitating. Many women develop anxiety for the first time or experience an increase in anxiety symptoms during and after pregnancy, yet this is the first trade book to specifically address pregnancy-related anxiety.
Written by two anxiety experts, The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook addresses topics specific to new mothers, including hormonal changes, how the physical symptoms of pregnancy affect anxiety, and common concerns pregnant women and new mothers have. Readers develop new, empirically validated cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills to help them keep anxiety, worry, and irrational thoughts from dominating their experience of pregnancy and postpartum. These skills, taught through a series of exercises and worksheets, include relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, problem-solving, and exposure and response prevention. Throughout the book, the authors guide readers, step by step, to show them how to recognize their anxiety triggers and symptoms and apply these anxiety management techniques when necessary.
The workbook includes a chapter on postpartum depression, a disorder that often co-occurs with postpartum anxiety, and a chapter that offers fathers tips for understanding and supporting their partners.
"How I wish I'd had this book when I suffered from postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder! Pregnant and postpartum moms need to know that perinatal anxiety disorders are common and treatable, and that there's no need to continue suffering."
--Katherine Stone, editor of Postpartum Progress
"Wiegartz and Gyoerkoe have adapted the powerful and scientifically proven techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy into tools that new moms and mothers-to-be can use to overcome the most common anxiety-related problems and reclaim this special time of life."
--Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD, ABPP, professor and director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill