8 Self-Help Books I Like for Moms: A Reproductive Psychiatrist's Perspective
As a perinatal or reproductive psychiatrist, I understand the unique challenges that mothers face in their journey to balance mental health, motherhood, and personal growth. I believe that reading can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and healing. Here are eight self-help books that I frequently highly recommend for moms, each chosen for its valuable insights and potential to inspire positive change. Please know this article includes affiliate links, but I would never mention something I don't recommend whole-heartedly.
For those of you experiencing infertility or grief on your path to motherhood, please know I am compiling a list specifically for you, and some of the recommendations will be the same. You're not alone and not forgotten.
1. "Set Boundaries, Find Peace" by Nedra Glover Tawwab In this empowering read, Tawwab guides all people in setting healthy boundaries, fostering self-care, and finding peace within their busy lives, which I think is especially important for mothers. I recommend this book for its practical tips and compassionate approach to self-discovery.
2. "Fair Play" by Eve Rodsky "Fair Play" explores the concept of equality in domestic responsibilities, offering practical solutions for sharing the workload at home. It's a must-read for moms seeking balance in their relationships and everyday lives. Be warned: once you're aware of some of these concepts you cannot go back to not seeing them, in my experience.
3. "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown Brene Brown's insightful exploration of embracing imperfections and cultivating self-compassion is transformative. For moms often burdened by guilt and self-doubt, this book provides the tools to let go and embrace their authentic selves.
4. "Self-Compassion" by Kristin Neff, PhD Neff's work on self-compassion is essential for mothers facing the challenges of parenting. She has dedicated her professional career to understanding this concept and has also applied it to her life, as you will see in this book. Through this book, moms learn to be kinder to themselves, fostering emotional resilience and a healthier self-esteem which I truly believe is a learned skill and something which, when modeled, helps our children learn as well.
5. https://amzn.to/3tCRq1I by Brene Brown "Daring Greatly" delves into the power of vulnerability and how embracing it can lead to courage and wholehearted living. For moms, this book offers a refreshing perspective, encouraging them to be brave in both parenting and personal pursuits.
6. "Real Self Care" by Pooja Lakshmin, MD My friend and colleage, Dr. Lakshmin wrote this wonderful book! She is also a reproductive psychiatrist with many years experience helping people manage their mental health. Dr. Lakshmin's book emphasizes genuine self-nurturing practices. It's a holistic guide for moms, helping them prioritize their mental, emotional, and physical well-being amidst the demands of motherhood in a real and honest way.
7. "Life With Baby" "Life With Baby" is the only true workbook on this list. It was made by Amy Tucker, a postpartum doula and Erin Fassnacht, LCSW, a clinical social worker with experience in the perinatal world. This workbook provides a place for valuable insights for moms and I really recommend starting it prior to delivery if possible. Especially if you're experiencing mood issues or anxiety, this offers a space to navigate your life with a baby.
8. "Mind Over Mood" by Dennis Greenberger, PhD and Christine A. Padesky, PhD This cognitive therapy guide is a valuable resource for moms dealing with mood issues and anxiety. It equips them with effective techniques to challenge negative thoughts and regain control over their emotional well-being.
A a reproductive psychiatrist, I recommend these books because they offer guidance, support, and encouragement to moms seeking personal growth and mental well-being. Each book is a stepping stone toward a healthier, happier, and more balanced life. Remember, it's okay to seek help and invest in your well-being.
Happy reading and empowering transformations!