We're Keeping an Eye on Her

By Deborah Issokson, Psy.D.

Did you know that 10 to 20% of expectant and new mothers experience symptoms of depression and anxiety? This means that emotional symptoms are perhaps the most common "complications" of pregnancy. While many of these women are experiencing the normal range of emotions inherent in the childbearing experience, some of these women's symptoms are part of a larger picture that includes a personal or family history of depressive or anxiety disorders, trauma and abuse, eating disorders, death of a significant person, relationship difficulties, social isolation and reproductive challenges such as infertility and pregnancy or neonatal loss. In addition to psychosocial factors, there are also some women for whom the hormonal changes in pregnancy and the postpartum period will trigger the onset of a depressive or anxiety disorder.

We (healthcare providers, doulas, childbirth educators, therapists, lactation consultants, anyone having contact with childbearing women) are in a unique position as facilitators along the continuum of childbearing and family-making. As such, it is incumbent upon us to be aware of the risk factors for perinatal mental health problems and to intervene as early as possible in the name of prevention. I believe that timely identification of risk factors and intervention can result in lessening the intensity and duration of the symptoms women experience. Early intervention as a form of prevention can also eliminate the possibility that a woman's experience will reach a state of crisis.

"We are keeping an eye on her" acknowledges an awareness that there is a risk for potential problems. However, in and of itself, watchful observation is not an act of prevention. On behalf of all women, their family members and their babies, born and yet to be born, I ask you to err on the side of caution. If you become aware, either through a woman's disclosure or through your own observation and intuition, that a woman is at risk for perinatal mental health problems, please act as an agent of prevention. Talk with her, educate her, lovingly refer her to a therapist, a support group, a home visiting resource, or a psychopharmacologist for a medication evaluation if necessary.

I am always available to you, as a consultant, if you have questions or concerns about the women for whom you care or if you are in need of resources in order to make an appropriate referral.

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Reproheart, Deborah Issokson, Psy. D, birth psychology, delivery, sterility, conception, debbie, deborah, issokson, , mass, ma, massachusetts, boston area, metro boston, belmont, waltham, newton, pembroke, wellesley, south shore,speaking, public speaking, seminar, family

617.314.9571

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Counseling Services

Dr. Issokson offers private and confidential counseling and psychotherapy by appointment at her offices in Wellesley and Pembroke, Massachusetts.

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Public Speaking,
Training, Workshops
& Continuing Education

Dr. Issokson is currently available for speaking engagements at conferences and is available to offer her workshops and training sessions to your professional and community organizations, healthcare practices and facilities or educational programs.

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Supervision, Consultation
and Training

Dr. Issokson provides supervision and consultation for mental health and healthcare professionals. She also provides in-service training and continuing education for mental health and healthcare professionals.

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Publications


our bodies ourselves 2011, consultation, pregnancy consultation, miscarriage consultation, pregnancy, perinatal, postpartum, birth, births, counseling, abortion, abortion relief, abortion help, abortion counseling, infertility help, infertility, loss, infertility counseling, miscarriages, miscarriage, miscarriage help, miscarriage counseling, miscarriage healing, pregnancy counseling, childbirth, hypnosis, pain management, pain, psychotherapy, abortion pain, abortion management, preconception counseling, pregnancy counseling, pregnancy pain, pregnancy management, loss, perinatal loss, perinatal pain, pregnancy discomfort,
2011 Edition
our bodies ourselves pregnancy and birth, consultation, pregnancy consultation, miscarriage consultation, pregnancy, perinatal, postpartum, birth, births, counseling, abortion, abortion relief, abortion help, abortion counseling, infertility help, infertility, loss, infertility counseling, miscarriages, miscarriage, miscarriage help, miscarriage counseling, miscarriage healing, pregnancy counseling, childbirth, hypnosis, pain management, pain, psychotherapy, abortion pain, abortion management, preconception counseling, pregnancy counseling, pregnancy pain, pregnancy management, loss, perinatal loss, perinatal pain, pregnancy discomfort,
Pregnancy
and Birth
our bodies ourselves new edition,miscarriage healing, pregnancy counseling, childbirth, hypnosis, pain management, pain, psychotherapy, abortion pain, abortion management, preconception counseling, pregnancy counseling, pregnancy pain, pregnancy management, loss, perinatal loss, perinatal pain, pregnancy discomfort, postpartum depression, postpartum help, postpartum counseling, hypnobirthing, psychology, psychological birth trauma, psychological pregnancy trauma, post pregnancy disorders, pregnancy disorders, birth psychology, delivery, sterility, conception, debbie, deborah, issokson, , mass, ma, massachusetts, boston area, metro boston, belmont, waltham, newton, pembroke, wellesley, south shore,speaking, public speaking, seminar, family
A New Edition
for a New Era
our bodies ourselves for the new century, miscarriage healing, pregnancy counseling, childbirth, hypnosis, pain management, pain, psychotherapy, abortion pain, abortion management, preconception counseling, pregnancy counseling, pregnancy pain, pregnancy management, loss, perinatal loss, perinatal pain, pregnancy discomfort, postpartum depression, postpartum help, postpartum counseling, hypnobirthing, psychology, psychological birth trauma, psychological pregnancy trauma, post pregnancy disorders, pregnancy disorders, birth psychology, delivery, sterility, conception, debbie, deborah, issokson, , mass, ma, massachusetts, boston area, metro boston, belmont, waltham, newton, pembroke, wellesley, south shore,speaking, public speaking, seminar, family
For The
New Century

Health Consequences of
Abuse in the Family

Contributor/Reviewer: Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2011, Contributor: Our Bodies, Ourselves, Pregnancy & Birth 2008, Co-author chapter 23: Our Bodies, Ourselves, for the New Century 2005, Co-author chapter 21: Our Bodies, Ourselves, for the New Century 1998, "Effects of Childhood Abuse on Childbearing and Perinatal Health" in Health Consequences of Abuse in the Family: A Clinical Guide for Evidence-Based Practice American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 2004.

617.314.9571

332 Washington St. (Route 16), Suite #125,
Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
2 Columbia Road (Rte. 53), Suite 11
Pembroke, MA 02359