Updated: Jul 16
I’m Dr. Anna Hoffman, a licensed psychologist in the Madison area. This post is part of a series called “A Therapist’s Library,” where I recommend my favorite books for healing, education, and prevention.
When I work with people who just had a baby, I often hear two questions:
“Is what I’m feeling normal?”
“Do other moms/parents feel this way?”
Without a doubt, I can assure you that you are not alone, no matter how you’ve been feeling or what thoughts have been racing through your mind. Other parents absolutely feel the way you do, and feeling depressed or anxious after having a baby is incredibly common.
Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: A Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers is an illustrated guide to postpartum distress that offers a tremendous amount of compassion, validation, practical advice, and resources. Author Karen Kleiman and illustrator Molly McIntyre debunk the myth that new parenthood is always sunshine and roses and cover common experiences like:
Self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy
Unwanted thoughts about harming the baby
Changes in your body and body image
Feeling “touched out,” or not wanting to be touched after too much physical intimacy with the baby, other children, or your partner
Handling unsolicited advice from others
I recommend this book for all new parents and parents-to-be who are searching for a helpful, easy-to-read guide to the completely common worries and unpleasant feelings that follow birth. The illustrations make this an especially excellent resource for parents who are too exhausted and overwhelmed for wordy books.
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the most common complication of child birth, and they are highly treatable. If you are seeking therapy for postpartum depression, anxiety, or stress, please contact me. It would be my pleasure to help you get the care you need.
Surround yourself with people who love you and anchor your anxieties with the knowledge that you are good and you are strong. You are enough. - Karen Kleiman
Thank you for reading, and be well!
Dr. Anna Hoffman