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Your Brain on Pregnancy

A Guide to Understanding and Protecting Your Mental Health During Pregnancy and Beyond

About The Book

An enlightening and practical guidebook for mothers to help them navigate mental health challenges during and after pregnancy—based on cutting-edge science by one of the world’s foremost researchers of maternal mental health.

For women who are expecting, pregnancy can be a time of excitement, but it also comes with the expectation that they are supposed to feel happy and joyous—that they must be “glowing.” The truth is that many women who are pregnant experience troubling anxiety, depression, and stress, accompanied by feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy. They are often ashamed to seek help, chalking up their feelings to changing hormones, lack of sleep, or a phase that will eventually go away.

In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Dawn Kingston, world-renowned expert on mental health and pregnancy, reveals that more women are affected by mental health issues during pregnancy rather than after it. While postpartum depression is a real and serious issue, depression during pregnancy is lesser known but just as pernicious, if not more so. Over the course of her twenty-five years working with women and babies as a registered nurse and mental health clinician, Dr. Kingston has discovered that as many as one in four pregnant women struggle with their mental health, and without treatment, symptoms can continue after the child is born, impacting a mother’s long-term health as well as her baby’s development. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Kingston takes readers through the three most common mental health struggles—anxiety, depression, and toxic stress—and shows how common life challenges such as relationship issues, financial problems, job transitions, and lack of support are often the trigger. She also debunks the popular belief that hormonal changes are to blame. Then, using proven science-based strategies, she shares easy and effective ways expecting parents can manage the stress and other feelings caused by these challenges, and actually reverse negative effects to make a lasting difference to both them and their babies.

With real-life stories, easy-to-use self-assessments, and advice on how to talk to your doctor, this definitive and practical book breaks down stigma and gives women the tools they need to safeguard their health and their baby’s health for all the milestones to come.

About The Author


Dr. Dawn Kingston is an award-winning researcher and mental health clinician who has worked in medicine for over twenty-five years, thirteen of those as a registered nurse in a neonatal ICU. She holds a master’s in nursing, master’s in counselling, and PhD in mental health from McMaster University and a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Manitoba, also in mental health. She is a professor at the University of Calgary, the inaugural holder of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women Cross-Provincial Research Chair in Perinatal Mental Health, and the first Canadian chair in women’s mental health. Along with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Nursing, she maintains a cross-appointment to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. She has been awarded the national New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for her work in maternal mental health. Dr. Kingston also has a counselling practice where she passionately serves women. She lives in Alberta with her family. Visit her website or connect with her on Facebook @DrDawnKingston.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 17, 2024)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982143381

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