Book Review: Modern management of perinatal psychiatric disorders (Second edition)

★ ★ ★

This book presents a comprehensive synthesis of the evidence on perinatal mental health disorders. Written by perinatal and child psychiatrists, the book provides information for midwives, nurses and other professionals on the care of women with perinatal mental health disorders.

Written predominantly from a bio-medical perspective, the book also covers the aetiology, epidemiology and management of mental health disorders in childbirth.

The main mild-to-moderate perinatal mental health disorders are covered, for example postnatal and antenatal depression, anxiety and stress. However, the management and care of women with puerperal psychosis and pre-existing mental health problems are also discussed.

Despite the emphasis on a medical model of care, the authors devote chapters to other important topics in perinatal mental health, such as the impact on infant attachment and development, the provision of primary and secondary care services for women who experience difficulties, and the socio-cultural dimension of perinatal mental health.

This is a well-written and well-researched book that will be of interest to both practitioners and clinicians, and essential reading for anyone involved in the care of women during the perinatal period.

My only criticisms would be the repetition of information between chapters and sometimes reference to evidence which is out of date. For example, research it cites on women’s attitude to perinatal mental health screening is not current.

Carol Henshaw, John Cox and Joanne Barton | RCPsych Publications | 330pp | £35.00 | ISBN: 978 1 909726772

Reviewed by Patricia Jarrett, independent researcher

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