Bibliotherapy is an integral part of moving through difficult times in our lives! The following books are 5 transformative pregnancy and postpartum books I recommend as a perinatal psychotherapist.
This book is geared towards overcoming postpartum depression. It provides psychoeducation on the topic.
The co-authors summarize the book here:
- Identify the symptoms of PPD and distinguish it from “baby blues”
- Deal with panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive urges, and stress overload
- Break the cycle of shame and negative thoughts
- Mobilize support from your husband or partner, family, and friends
- Seek and evaluate treatment options
- Cope with the disappointment and loss of self-esteem
I pretty much gift this book to every new mom that I know. This book walks you through intrusive thoughts in a cartoon style way. These are actual intrusive thoughts that other parents have shared. It’s super important to normalize intrusive thoughts which are unwanted distressing thoughts pertaining to a variety of topics such as something happening to your baby etc. Intrusive thoughts are EXTREMELY common!
Here’s what the author has to say:
“Good Mothers Have Scary Thoughts” is packed with world-class guidance, simple exercises, and nearly 50 stigma-busting cartoons from the viral #speakthesecret campaign that help new moms validate their feelings, share their fears, and start feeling better. Lighthearted yet serious, warm yet not sugary, and perfectly portioned for busy moms with full plates, Good Moms Have Scary Thoughtsis the go-to resource for moms, partners, and families everywhere who need help with this difficult period.”
Now here me out, I’m not suggesting this book in some antiquated way suggesting that because you are a woman you need to be the one to “clean your house.” The fact of the matter is that mothers/parents where several hats. This means that there are hundreds of tasks that “need” to be accomplished daily and this can be EXTREMELY overwhelming. I for one can completely relate to the notion of feeling so overwhelmed by the mess in front of me that I don’t even know where to begin and feel immobile against it. A fellow therapist wrote this book and many feel that it is transformative!
Here is what the author has to say:
“If you’re struggling to stay on top of your to-do list, you probably have a good reason: anxiety, fatigue, depression, ADHD, or lack of support. For therapist KC Davis, the birth of her second child triggered a stress-mess cycle. The more behind she felt, the less motivated she was to start. She didn’t fold a single piece of laundry for seven months. One life-changing realization restored her sanity—and the functionality of her home: You don’t work for your home; your home works for you.”
One of the most common notions that I come across with my population is the notion of feeling invisible, wanting desperately to be seen. Brene Brown walks us through how to make that happen! So while this isn’t a traditional “postpartum” book, it is transformative in all of the right ways.
Here is what the author has to say:
“Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.”
Yes, yes. Two Brene Brown books made my list. This is a great “self help” book if you will. Something that I personally feel is transformative, is the ability to connect to one another. The ability to see that we are not alone in our struggles. This book features just that!
What the author has to say:
“We spend so much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what, and how we’re supposed to be. So we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection. This book shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to one another and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.”
I also highly recommend the books Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts.
You can absolutely book a consult with me (Deema) to talk through what you are experiencing and help narrow down the right type of help for you!
Other helpful blog posts:
- A therapist’s guide to postpartum depression resources
- Intrusive thoughts: a not so scary overview
- Deema’s story – coping with an unplanned pregnancy
- Kate’s unplanned pregnancy story
- Gender disappointment
- All about Deema