Healing and Hope: 6 Essential Books for Maternal Mental Health


ecoming a new mother is a life-changing experience, filled with joy, wonder, and… sometimes, overwhelming uncertainty. As moms navigate the ups and downs of parenthood, it’s easy to forget that your own well-being matters just as much as our baby’s. But the truth is, taking care of ourselves during the Fourth Trimester is crucial for our physical, emotional, and mental health.

From understanding and managing postpartum depression and anxiety to finding balance and self-care, we curated six books that cover a range of maternal well-being topics every new mom should know. Whether you’re expecting, new to motherhood, or seeking support, these books offer a safe space to explore your feelings and discover your own path to healing while you grow through Fourth Trimester recovery.

1. The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality (Shambhala, $11.69) By Kimberly Ann Johnson
Why You Should Read It: Determined not to get a full pelvic floor reconstructive surgery after sustaining an injury during childbirth, Johnson traveled the world learning about postpartum practices. After healing herself, she became a doula, Sexological Bodyworker, and Somatic Experiencing practitioner so that she could help mothers/birthing people through this important and overlooked phase of development that is the postpartum period. Her book covers physical and emotional recovery, breastfeeding, and relationships, and offers practical advice and holistic approaches to support new mothers in their transition to motherhood.

2. Postpartum Care for New Moms Over 35: Regain Strength and Regulate Hormones, Diet, and Sleep Patterns so You Can Feel Like Yourself Again. Proven Strategies to Combat Anxiety and Depression (Self-Published, $25.99)
By Tamar T. Edwards 
Why You Should Read It: 
You’ll gain understanding of the physical and emotional changes that occur during the postpartum period, how to manage anxiety and depression through evidence-based techniques and self-care practices to help you to regain strength and energy. Edwards cover a variety of postpartum care topics, including gentle exercise and nutrition, regulating hormones and sleep patterns that promote overall health, and building resilience and coping skills to navigate the challenges of motherhood.

3. The Postpartum Husband: Practical Solutions for Living with Postpartum Depression (Xlibris, $13.99)
By Karen R. Kleiman, M.S.W.  
Why You Should Read It: 
An excellent way to help new fathers manage the myriad degrees of postpartum, this book is a supportive guide for husbands and partners of women experiencing postpartum depression (PPD). The book offers a unique perspective on how to navigate the challenges of PPD, providing practical solutions and strategies for husbands to support their partners and care for themselves during this difficult time.  By offering practical advice and empathy, the book empowers husbands to become a vital source of support and comfort for their partners, helping them to cope with PPD and build a stronger, more resilient family.

4. Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety (Untreed Reads, $25.00)
By Shoshana S. Bennett, PhD and Pec Indman, PA, EdD
Why You Should Read It: As a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions, and the author of several books on PPD, Dr. Shosh is one of the foremost leaders in postpartum depression care. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers and has helped over 19,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups, and wellness seminars. Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety is a book that contains the most up-to-date information about risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mood and anxiety disorders in pregnancy and postpartum

5. Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: A Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers (Xlibris, $13.99)
By Karen R. Kleiman
Why You Should Read It: Renowned author and founder of the Postpartum Stress Center, Karen Kleiman, extends a lifeline to new mothers with her revolutionary book designed to be read by moms and their partners. This game-changing resource offers compassionate guidance, empowering exercises, and nearly 50 humorous cartoons from the viral #speakthesecret campaign, helping new moms break the silence and shed the stigma surrounding their darkest fears and feelings. By acknowledging the unspoken truths of motherhood, Kleiman’s book sparks hope, healing, and a sense of community, reminding moms that even in the darkest moments, they are never alone.

6.The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook: Practical Skills to Help You Overcome Anxiety, Worry, Panic Attacks, Obsessions, and Compulsions (New Harbinger Publications, $25.95)
By Kevin L. Gyoerkoe and Pamela S. Wiegartz
Why You Should Read It: 
Recommended by therapists, this book offers effective, evidence-based strategies based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help manage worry, panic, and anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum. The workbook includes practical exercises to teach relaxation techniques, reduce the frequency and intensity of anxious feelings, and help fathers understand and support their partners.

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