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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Dangerous Mothers: The Mystery of Postpartum Psychosis

By the time Andrea Yates drowned her children, she believed that Satan was inside her, and that the only way to protect her daughter and four sons from a similar fate was to kill them and send them to paradise. In the wake of Yate's trial--and in the trials of other women who hurt or neglect their children during bouts of postpartum psychosis--coverage has tended to dwell on the least useful question: How could any sane woman kill her kids? A better question...would inquire about the factors (biological, cultural and environmental) that make some women vulnerable to episodes of acute, severe mental illness in the period after they become mothers.

Kim Brooks, The New York Times Book Review, November 15, 2020

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