Book Of The Month: The Mother-To-Mother Postpartum Depression Support Book

In this book, mothers share how they felt when dealing with postpartum depression and how they recovered

Did you know that 10-20% of postpartum women experience some symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD)?

With mental health awareness becoming greater all the time, we are hearing more and more about PPD and understanding that it is something that many women deal with. But I think there’s still a certain hesitation to talk about it. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that people even shy away from saying “postpartum depression”, saying just “postpartum”, as if casually yet discreetly brushing off the notion of mental illness?.

Fortunately, there is a growing body of resources on the subject of PPD. This month’s parenting book is The Mother-to-Mother Postpartum Depression Support Book by Sandra Poulin. With the tagline “real stories from women who lived through it and recovered”, the book is a wonderful support for anyone coping with PPD or just having a rough go of things in the weeks and months following birth.

Although I was never diagnosed with PPD, I took great solace in the first-person accounts in this book, and I think almost any mother would.

The book is organized in a very helpful way: by the challenge that seems to be causing the most difficulty for the mother. These include sleep deprivation, fear and anxiety, thoughts of suicide, problems with breastfeeding, ill and colicky babies, and multiples. It also shares stories of challenges that are harder to pin down or identify: mothers looking for their maternal instinct, having high expectations, adjusting after fast-paced careers and overcoming anger towards their husbands.

There are chapters about single mothers and mothers dealing with PPD with a second or subsequent child, or each and every child and mothers who have recovered from postpartum psychosis. In each of the anecdotes, the mother shares many details about her experience: how she was feeling, how she decided to get help, what worked and how she is doing now.

The book concludes with accounts from mothers with grown children who survived PPD, that share their experiences in retrospect along with sections on “now that I’ve recovered” and “thoughts for a better day”. What’s so poignant about this section is how many of these PPD survivors have gone on to support women in roles such as postpartum doulas, nurses and midwives—many have become active member of the PPD community.

Indeed, many of the women who share their stories throughout the book describe how they’ve become outspoken advocates for PPD support and awareness, which is a true testament to survival.

Sandra Poulin has taken great care to ensure the book represents the many different aspects of life with a baby that have the potential to be challenging for any new mother; that’s why I think this book is helpful for all new mothers, not just those with diagnosed or suspected PPD.

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