The arrival of a new baby is supposed to be one of the most joyful events of our lives. In reality, adjusting to parenthood is incredibly challenging – all of a sudden we have a little person to take care of and no manual to tell us exactly what to do and how to do it. Exhaustion, lack of support, unrealistic expectations, and feelings of being isolated and overwhelmed can take their toll and lead to perinatal depression in both mums and dads.
I’ve blogged before about my experience of postnatal depression and my struggle to bond as a result of it. Why Perinatal Depression Matters, written by clinical psychologist and doula Mia Scotland, is a book I wish I could have read back then. It’s a book that discusses why many women, and men, struggle with perinatal depression; explores the difficulties that arise as a result of the culture that we live in, and provides useful information about treatments that are likely to help.
The book is divided into six chapters – taking the reader through a basic understanding of depression and how our brains work with regards to bonding before discussing perinatal depression specifically in more detail. It also explores how perinatal depression affects fathers, what techniques may help to ease depression and finishes by looking at recovery from perinatal depression.
Throughout the book, the author’s approach is encouraging and positive, reassuring the reader throughout that they are doing well with regards to parenting, whilst reminding them that parenthood is very challenging and that accepting that we need help, and asking for it, is not a sign of weakness. The different feelings associated with depression are discussed and analysed and the myths surrounding perinatal depression debunked. The author looks at how our culture supports new mothers and compares this to how motherhood is celebrated and supported in many other cultures around the world. I found the chapter on everyday techniques for improving psychological wellbeing particularly helpful; there were many suggestions in this chapter that would be helpful for dealing with the day-to-day challenges that parenting brings, with or without struggling with depression as well.
Why Perinatal Depression Matters is currently available from the Pinter and Martin website for £5 but I am offering one of my lucky readers the chance to win a copy. You can enter by filling in the Gleam form below. The competition is open to UK entrants and ends on 15th November 2015 at 11.59PM. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.