This Isn't What I Expected
This isn't what I expected was the first and, so far, only book I've read on postpartum depression and it definitely gave me a lot to think about - not in a good way. I have no personal experience with ppd nor have I heard or seen its' effects firsthand but the advice in this book seemed so wrong to me! I would love to talk with moms about how it came up, how they dealt with it or are dealing with it, and read more books on the topic. Did these moms have good nutritive support (ie plenty of vitamins, minerals, and hormone balancing foods?), did they have social support?, what kind of parenting choices did they make (ecological breastfeeding or formula and sleep training)?
The advice in this book seems to be skewed towards separating mom and baby then medicating the mom. For ex: the infant sleep training advice on pgs 100-101 sounds an awful lot like "cry it out". I fail to see how advising to hear your newborn crying because of an action you're taking will make you feel better. Yes- moms need breaks. Some babies are more difficult than others but everything I've read, heard, and experienced so far shows that the more you support motherbaby togetherness and promote attachment parenting, the easier parenting is. Babies aren't meant to be separated from their moms. I can see it causing more stress to them both vs figuring out parenthood together. Not everyone has access to a postpartum doula and strong support network unfortunately but separating, promoting crying, promoting bottle feeding over breastfeeding (to give mom a break and let her sleep) I truly think causes more harm than good in the long run. Especially in the early weeks if you focus on just letting mom sleep until she's well rested (without baby nearby) and she is breastfeeding their breastfeeding relationship will suffer and will be very difficult to recover. If that was something she really wanted to do it will affect her mental state negatively as well. The book emphasizes rest for the mother and the overwhelming nature of motherhood. But what happens if we let go of all the cultural "should" and "should nots" and just listen to the baby's needs? Surrender to ecological motherhood without trying to unnaturally manipulate it? Do those mothers also get ppd? What helps them cope? I would love to read a book about postpartum depression in other cultures.