About the authors
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    Women's Experience of Postnatal Depression
Kitchen table conversations
Lisa Fettling and Belinda Tune

'. . . a book that manages to capture the essence of postnatal depression'.

Anne Buist, Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Austin Health, University of Melbourne, and Co-ordinator, National Postnatal Depression Program

Lisa Fettling and Belinda Tune have talked to women, in their homes, across their kitchen tables, about their experience of postnatal depression (PND), and this book comprises edited versions of twenty-two of their conversations.

'With a touching and at times confronting rawness' (Anne Buist's words), twenty-two women tell their stories. Each begins 'at the beginning', as she understands it, and talks about:


her expectations of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, and her experience of each;
  how she felt and what she thought, at various times;
  her experiences with health professionals of various kinds (maternal and child health nurses, GPs, psychiatrists, obstetricians, midwives, counsellors, psychologists) and with new mothers' and PND support groups;
  what helped her, and what didn't;
  PND's impact on her relationships with partner, family-members, and friends; and
  how her experience of PND has changed her.

In each story readers are offered an opportunity to see postnatal depression and some of its effects in the context of a woman's life.

For those who are suffering from PND or its effects, a reading of each of these stories will offer an opportunity to 'meet' another person, whether a woman, a male partner, or a family-member, who has experienced what she or he is experiencing now. Some will connect with a story, or elements of a story, some with a story-teller; all will learn that they are not alone.

'For health professionals', writes Anne Buist in her Foreword to the book, 'there is also a lot to be learnt; these stories are not the histories we take, but the real story - what is important to the women, not what we want to ask. We need to find ways of helping them conceptualise their problem, and accept help. These stories are a step towards this – the more we can all understand women's experiences, the more we can help in an appropriate manner.'

Bibliographic details:

Published, March, 2005. 229 x 154mm. 360 pages
ISBN: 0-9752374-3-8. $29.95.

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