Struggling with Postpartum Depression? Try This.
When Postpartum Packs a Punch: Fighting Back and Finding Joy
The book above I cannot review but wish I could. You see, I'd give it a glowing five-star review. It deserves one, but I can't. I'm Kristina Cowan's friend and was part of a small critique group which intensely worked on her book line-by-line. My bias is loaded, as is my intimacy with the book. Objectivity is not really available to me.
Any good reviewer knows the dangers, perceived and otherwise, of reviewing such a book.
What I will tell you is it is a good book. Kristina's journalistic skills are in full force here as she researched details with doctors, therapists, moms and others to ensure she covered the breadth of the story beyond her own experience.
About her experience: She tells the hard story of how she felt and reacted after giving birth to her first child. It is hard because as an intelligent, well-educated professional writer -- one who has strong credentials working for some of the top periodicals in the nation, she is vulnerable. It is more than vulnerability of the heart. That's no small thing. But she goes deeper and expresses her faith in Jesus Christ in the mix of all of this. Such a counter-cultural approach takes a kind of inner strength rarely seen at her level.
You can read on Kristina Cowan's blog her own thoughts on her book.
She explains what PPD is and is not, and reveals the most recent studies in the context of well-organized chapters. There are interviews with anyone who matters in the field as well as of moms from all walks of life.
What matters most is she does more than describe the problem honestly. That's huge: She works hard to demystify PPD and remove social stigmas attached to it. She then presents hope. Not just hope that says "wait it out and you'll get past this," but hope that there are ways a mom can be ready for PPD and, if in the middle of it, what she can do. Kristina's faith is engaged here, of course. So is her keen analysis of the psychology of PPD. She points the way out.
About critiquing her work: It wasn't easy. She arrived at each session with clean writing. No odd typos or grammatical errors littered her document. Sure, our tight group offered ideas. These helped I'm certain of it. What you read though is completely Kristina's good work. She never hesitated to reject our ideas if they didn't match good writing. Editing her writing, for me, was a lesson in excellence.
This excellence you'll see as you read. Every line is crafted for meaning, clarity and flow. When I read her work aloud, I found it came easily off my tongue.
If a woman you know is struggling through PPD, buy the book.