Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Title: Delivery from Darkness – A Jewish Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Postpartum Depression
Author: Rabbi Baruch Finkelstein, Michal Finkelstein, RN CNM, Doreen Winter, MSW
As far as Jewish lifecycle events go, there is no doubt that childbirth is the ultimate simcha that a woman and her family can ever experience. For some women, however, the days, weeks and months following childbirth can be a personally painful and daunting time, as they fall victim to unyielding hormonal upheavals that result in “the baby blues,” postpartum depression and in some rare cases postpartum psychosis.
In Delivery Form Darkness, the Jerusalem-based authors, Rabbi Baruch Finkelstein and his wife Michal along with certified nurse-midwife and therapist, Doreen Winter, present a most sensitive yet pragmatic guide on the modalities of prevention and treatment of PPD.
Integrating both halachic and medical concepts, the authors make it abundantly clear that PPD and its related disorders are in no way reflective of a mother’s general mental state, nor does it serve as an ominous indication of her abilities to nurture her child, but rather they offer evidence that PPD needs to be cogently understood and addressed with concrete intervention.
The taboo surrounding this most enigmatic of ailments often causes families a great deal of shame and guilt. In the foreword to this book, psychiatrist and author Rabbi Avraham Twerski says, “Because the symptoms of postpartum depression are behavioral, many people think of them as being due to a mental abnormality. Given the stigma that this carries, the symptoms are often overlooked or explained away.”
The authors explain that while there are psychosocial components that make some women genetically pre-disposed to PPD, the major culprits are hormonal in nature that occur during pregnancy, along with both a thyroid and adrenal link as well. Family and communal support along with compassionate and educated health care professionals can make all the difference in the world in helping a woman and her family recognize that PPD is not an insurmountable obstacle on the highway to recovery.
Addressing the issues of turmoil and pain that husbands often experience as a result of their spouses’ PPD, this book allows them to tell their stories in their own words, giving a personal face to the potential tragedy that can result if PPD is left untreated.
With 80% of all new mothers experiencing the “baby blues” and 15-20 percent being beset with PPD, and one in a thousand women being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis, the authors sound a clarion call to the Orthodox Jewish world to reach out with urgency and alacrity to those suffering. Mothers often experience daily bouts of anger, irritability, melancholia, moodiness and feel terribly frightened, agitated and distraught. An intense fear of death, or going crazy and loss of control combined with suicidal ideations are also prevalent in some cases as the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are all encompassing.
In some cases, medical treatments, such as the use of anti-depressants have proven effective along with therapy, but the authors don’t stop there. They courageously suggest holistic approaches, including traditional Chinese medicine, the use of herbs, vitamins and minerals as well as establishing a regime of the highest standards in nutrition and exercise.
Throughout this often arduous journey to recovery from PPD, we are consistently reminded by the authors that a woman’s connection to Hashem must be encouraged and bolstered, as the most conducive trajectory to complete healing lies within a healthy spiritual mindset.
Mothers are advised to “Talk to Hashem out loud. Find time every day to talk to Hashem as if you were talking to a friend. Hashem listens. Tell Hashem everything. Tell Him how you feel about yourself, your family, your relationship with Him. Tell Hashem about your day, your plans, your moods. Tell Hashem your deepest fears and desires. This will be an enlightening and rejuvenating experience.”
Consulting rabbinic and halachic authorities on such issues as choosing the right therapist are earnestly discussed, as well as sensitive issues such as the use of birth control.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
An impressive group of counselors and staff members are providing the boys and girls with a summer of fun and Torah learning and a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Rabbi Sam Intrator recently led a summer program in Williams Island, located in Aventura. The event focused on how to find spiritual joy in Judaism. The rabbi cited biblical and Talmudic teachings, ancient Temple rituals, and the words of prayers to establish the role that love and positive thinking have in Torah values. Rabbi Intrator […]
There are so many toys available for newborn to age 5, but how do you choose?
In 1939, with life getting harder for Jews, she and several friends decided it was time to make aliyah, and applied at the Palestina Amt for permits.
I am not sure how many of you readers have had this experience, but I did and it truly tested the limits of my sanity!
Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.
Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.
Chesler speaks directly to her erstwhile colleagues in the feminist movement who ostracized her for blowing the lid off the gnawing undercurrent of anti-Israel sentiment in their ranks.
For the past 64 years, the Jewish Book Council has spotlighted the best of Jewish books and their authors through its presentation of the annual National Jewish Book Award. On March 5, the winners in nearly 20 categories of Jewish books will assemble at the Center for Jewish History in New York City for a celebratory gathering.
“This is the story of a young and naive Jewish American woman who meant to rebel against tradition but who found herself trapped in the past, stuck in the Middle Ages, without a passport back,” declared Dr. Phyllis Chesler.
In Unbroken Spirit: A Heroic Story of Faith, Courage and Survival (Gefen Publishing), the newly released English translation of his memoir, internationally renowned former Soviet refusenik Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich tells a compelling story of struggle and victory. He spoke to The Jewish Press during his recent U.S. book tour.
MK Tzipi Hatovely addressed a Chabad “Lunch and Learn” event on December 14 in Miami Beach.
The November midterm elections may well alter the political face of this country. Opponents of Obama administration policies have galvanized their forces and are eager to make their voices heard to the American electorate.
One of those people is Jay Townsend, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York who will be seeking to unseat incumbent Sen. Charles Schumer.
The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam, founded in May 2009, has held numerous political demonstrations, rallies and seminars aimed at bringing about a collective awareness of the perils of Islamic extremism. The Jewish Press sat down with Dr. Marvin Belsky, chairman of the board of HRCARI, to hear more about the goals and objectives of the group.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-delivery-from-darkness-a-jewish-guide-to-prevention-and-treatment-of-postpartum-depression/2009/12/23/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: