growing parker was the easy part for me. life after him was very difficult for quite a while. since ryan and i have finally decided to have another, i am preparing myself the best that i can for a better outcome.
i feel that at the very least, parker survived me once and shouldn't have to do it again.
so being the semi-obsessive researcher that i am, i bought some books and thought some reviews might be helpful.
*What Am I Thinking? Having a Baby after Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman
This is the first book that i read (yes, after i was already pregnant.) The author is very nonjudgemental and lays out the important factors that any mother should consider before having another child.
The most useful sections of the book involved questionaires/fill-in-the-blank portions which examined previous symptoms, hang-ups, and helps. Although it was extrememly difficult to relive so many of those things, it will be a major help to have calmly thought about what worked and what did not work last time. Those sections will also be invaluable as ryan will use them as a reference to judge when things are bad and what he can actually do that will make a positive difference.
*The Darkest Days of My Life: Stories of Postpartum Depression by Natasha Mauthner
The author really looks at what the cultural ideals of motherhood are and the conflicting reality for many women. The comparison between women suffering from postpartum depression in Britain and America was very interesting to note.
The book was useful for me because it broke postpartum depression into a very real and personal experience and emphasized the positive affect of communicating with other women. It was also very helpful for me to examine what cultural ideas of motherhood surround me and how realistic they are.
*When Baby Brings the Blues: Getting Through Postpartum Depression by Dr. Ariel Dalfen
The author very throughly explains symptoms and treatment options for postpartum depression.
A large portion of this book was redundant since i have personally dealt with postpartum depression and done a fair bit of research. Although the book covers many (and maybe all) treatment options, I found the section on medication and breastfeeding most useful since other books did not go into as much detail.