From the PUBLISHER
“Over 90 percent of new mothers will have scary, intrusive thoughts about their baby and themselves. What if I drop him? What if I snap and hurt my baby? Mothering is so hard. I don’t know if I really want to do this anymore. Gosh, I’m so terrible for thinking that!
Yet for too many mothers, those thoughts remain secret, hidden away in shame that make you feel even worse. But here’s the good news: you CAN feel better!
Author Karen Kleiman, coauthor of the seminal book This Isn’t What I Expected and founder of the acclaimed Postpartum Stress Center, comes to the aid of new mothers everywhere with a groundbreaking new source of hope, compassion, and expert help. Good Mothers Have Scary Thoughtsis packed with world-class guidance, simple exercises, and nearly 50 stigma-busting cartoons from the viral #speakthesecret campaign that help new moms validate their feelings, share their fears, and start feeling better. Lighthearted yet serious, warm yet not sugary, and perfectly portioned for busy moms with full plates, Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts is the go-to resource for moms, partners, and families everywhere who need help with this difficult period.”
See VIDEO reviews on Amazon and BUY THE BOOK HERE.
“This beautifully illustrated book offers a much needed view of the private lives of new mothers and the thoughts and emotions they navigate on a daily basis. It provides new moms with tools and resources to manage and cope with these changes and most importantly, advises what a mom should do when she recognizes she is not coping well! Because we don’t talk about the unpleasant but very real thoughts and fears involving motherhood, too many new moms struggle alone feeling inadequate and failing at the one thing they waited their whole lives to do! I wish every new mom was given this book and reassured that despite the thoughts and feelings she might be experiencing she can and will be a ‘good mom!'” Dr. Laura Meyer, LMFT, LMHC
“This book is everything. Seeing my thoughts in someone elses words was so incredibly reassuring, calming. All new moms need this book, just to jave, when those thoughts come up, pull this book out, and know you’re not alone. Not enough peoplentalk about the “scary thoughts”. I thought I was alone in this, and this book has been life changing.”
“As a licensed professional counselor who has exclusively worked with this population for years, I believe this is the most valuable book in our office library. Each page has a genuine, down-to-earth illustration moms can really relate to. On the opposite page is educational information on the subject with a simple related exercise. New moms have hardly any time, and this book was written with that in mind. You can pick this book up, read a page, and still walk away with something valuable.
This book is on a table in our waiting room and in just the 1 week it’s been here, numerous clients have commented on how wonderful it is and how glad they are it exists.
Even the appearance of the book is appealing, it’s hardback, colorful, practically sized with a built in ribbon book mark!” – J
“This is truly a wonderful little book!! I am grateful to Karen Kleiman for writing this accessible, supportive, inexpensive and warmly written book for new mothers! It makes a great gift! I plan to refer all the new moms I see in my private practice to it.” -Jessica Flint, LCSW
“Hands down, one of the best resources you can give a new mom. So important!! You are not alone ♥️” – Nicki
“This is an AMAZING book. This book would have changed EVERYTHING had I had it when my son was born. PLEASE share this or better yet, buy one for yourself and a new mom in your life. This book is SO NEEDED in the motherhood community. Perfect in every way. Bought two to send to new mom friends. Will be buying more. Thank you, Karen!!!!! You are going to change and save lives with this book. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” – Maggie
“This book so accurately describes the thoughts of a new mother who is experiencing depression and anxiety. I wish I’d had it after my babies were born and I look forward to gifting this to new moms I know. This book should be in every waiting room of pediatricians, OBGYNs, therapists and more. We need to keep spreading the word.”
– Ho on D
“Every page speaks to the private, and often shameful thoughts we keep inside as mothers. It is such a validating read, and one of the most honest depictions of postpartum adjustment I have yet to encounter. It’s also probably one of the easiest forms of reading to digest for a sleep-deprived mama, or a person going through one of the toughest times in their lives — when a lengthy tome may not be the best thing. — Alexis Barad-Cutler, founder of Not Safe For Mom Group (notsafeformomgroup.com)I am absolutely enjoying reading this book because it is so relateable. It is presented in an easy to digest format that will make it easy for me to discuss with my husband. It is also an excellent resource to educate others about the feelings that new moms may have. So glad that my husband ordered this book for me.” – KG
“I wish I’d had this book postpartum. It’s still good to read now, both personally and of course professionally. I have seen the cartoons circling the internet and I’m grateful there’s an awareness campaign regarding postpartum depression and anxiety. It’s an important topic not addressed sufficiently and definitely not in sufficient detail (the anxiety part is so important!) in our society so I’m happy to see it presented in an accessible format. One of my complaints is that it’s pretty hetero- and cisnormative and I’d love to see it expanded in future editions. All the partners are male and everyone seems to identify as female.
My other main issue is that this book seems very targeted towards middle-class and above mothers, and even among them mothers of a specific type. The part about barriers to getting help and talking to healthcare providers didn’t really address the reality that Medicaid (at least in Illinois) cuts off at 6 weeks postpartum – and many psychiatrists don’t accept Medicaid or the managed care plans that go with it. No one is stressed about having to go back to work at their minimum wage job at one week postpartum. I LOVE emphasizing self-care but what does that look like when you have no disposable income and no gym membership or money for daycare (like in the accompanying cartoon)?
And I love the diversity of skin tones but there are more types of inclusivity. I wish that, in parts when discussing having more than one child, a range of family sizes was depicted. Where is the depressed/anxious mother who just had her 7th baby? The book discusses allowing time for your body to go back to a pre-baby weight but where are the mamas who were plus-size pre-pregnancy?
I don’t want to give the wrong impression – I like this book a lot and think it’s incredibly valuable. I just 1) have a professional opinion as a midwife and 2) think it could be even better and I’d love to push it further in a next edition.” – K
“I am absolutely enjoying reading this book because it is so relatable. It is presented in an easy to digest format that will make it easy for me to discuss with my husband. It is also an excellent resource to educate others about the feelings that new moms may have. So glad that my husband ordered this book for me.” – KG
“Luckily, I had access to a psychiatrist and a counselor who both specialized in perinatal anxiety/depression before this book was published, but this is a gem. I read it and bought additional copies for two expectant friends. It helps to identify those terrible, distressing PPD/PPA thoughts when you can’t think straight and just don’t know what to do. This book offers the comfort that you’re not alone/crazy/deficient, the maelstrom of thoughts and physical symptoms won’t last forever, there is help, and there is HOPE. My gratitude to the authors!!” – EH
“I am so thrilled to have found this book! I have purchased one for myself and two of my friends that are expecting so far. I am also a Postpartum Transformational Healer and plan to incorporate them in all my client care packages! It puts relational content in an easy to read format. Moms that are going through PMADs do not have time to read novels, this is perfect!” – Nicole
“This book is one of the best books I’ve read for postpartum moms – and I’ve ready MANY! I struggled with PPD and PPA and would have loved to have this book when I was going through it. Not only is it presently very clearly, but also offers very quick and easy ways to “journal” about issues you might be having. It offers amazing resources for almost every situation. It’s clear and concise and VERY relatable. I can’t say enough good things!” – Suzanne
“LOVE! I wish I would have had this book with my first baby. This book is great for new moms, especially those struggling with the emotions of motherhood. I will be passing it on to other mom friends of mine.”
“Everyone, yes EVERYONE should read this at least once. It not only helps mothers figure out what the heck is going on in their heads, but it can enlighten men as to what their partners are going through during a time they may not even know themselves. So much of what I suffered from was so difficult to put into words, but this book really lays out exactly what I was thinking and feeling. Such a good read.” – johnnyb
“Fantastic book by Karen Kleiman, yet again! What a great resource to help normalize the feelings new moms have in the perinatal period and how they are experiencing life and helping to normalize it and let them know they deserve to get help! As a licensed therapist, I want new moms to know they are not alone and there is help! They are not their symptoms! Thank you, Karen again for providing us with a great resource for our clients!” Robyn E. Brickel, MA, LMFT
“I am currently preparing for my first child, and with a personal history of mental illness, I know how important it will be to manage my mental health. I feel like this book really helps the reader to understand what to expect as normal feelings and how to cope with them, as well as what kinds of potential feelings and thoughts require medical intervention and how and when to get help. It’s an easy read packed with helpful information, and I love the comic style.”
“I am currently preparing for my first child, and with a personal history of mental illness, I know how important it will be to manage my mental health. I feel like this book really helps the reader to understand what to expect as normal feelings and how to cope with them, as well as what kinds of potential feelings and thoughts require medical intervention and how and when to get help. It’s an easy read packed with helpful information, and I love the comic style.” Anon.
“”This book is so important. When so became a mother I thought I was supposed to fall in love with my baby and my life was going to be perfect and magical. It’s not reality, but no one talked about the scary thoughts. So I thought something was very wrong with me! This book normalizes those thoughts and feelings, acknowledges that motherhood can be filled with positive and negative emotions, sometimes at the same time. Maternal mental health is so important, and this book is relatable and presented in a way that’s easy for exhausted new mothers to read. I’m going to include this book in the postpartum care packages for all my pregnant friends from now on.” -Kiersten
“Karen Kleiman does it again! She writes with such clarity and insight into what is going on inside the head of new mothers who are struggling with anxiety and/or depression. She is the BEST author about these issues — whether it is for new moms experiencing anxiety / depression or the therapists who treat them. And the images in this book eloquently and succinctly illustrate the struggles that many women have in the transition to motherhood. Buy it for yourself, your daughter, your friend. A MUST-HAVE for anyone working with women during pregnancy or postpartum.” Adrienne G
“As a clinical psychologist and mom of two young children, I cannot say enough about this book. This book tackles a challenging and stigmatized topic and makes it palpable for all women (pregnant, newly postpartum, or moms of many years). It’s use of illustrations and simple journal exercises gives women an opportunity to be validated, plan ahead for what may or may not be, practice self care, and even laugh (humor is so important in the journey of motherhood). I am so impressed at how this delicate balance was managed by Kleinman and McIntyre. When I looked through this book with two of my postpartum moms, they wept immediately- relief for the validation of their symptoms there in black and white and for filling a hole in today’s literature for moms. Thank you, thank you, thank for this lovely addition to our field!” -Amanda Bordfeld Ferguson, Psy.D.
“With humor and honesty, this illustrated self-help guide for new mothers offers an alternative to the earnestness of more traditional books on the subject. Eschewing the typical advice and information about baby care, the comics and information are entirely devoted to the experiences of women who have recently given birth. Difficult topics such as postpartum depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder get frank discussion, and the tone is reassuring without diminishing the potential seriousness of these issues. The illustrations are sunny and relatable, depicting women of diverse ethnicities and body types. The format is especially effective in conveying, through speech and thought balloons, the differences between what new mothers might say and what they are really feeling. There is a helpful resource section of therapist listings, advocacy groups, recommendations for other books, and crisis hotlines.”
Do Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts? Postpartum Expert’s New Book Weighs in on Little-Known Maternal Mental Health Illness Symptom.
A Review by Patricia Tomasi for Theravive
Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts
A Review by Peggy O’Mara
“Bearing a child is the greatest miracle of all. Mothers, in their ability to create life, are no less than gods on Earth. But with those special powers comes the immense responsibility of caretaking their offspring, and that’s when the (all too) human condition betrays some vulnerability, because motherhood is brutal work. Upwards of 400,000 American women develop postpartum depression a year, and as many as 90 percent of mothers admit to experiencing intrusive, frightening thoughts about themselves and their babies. That fear, and the shame that usually accompanies it, is too often suppressed by mothers in their reluctance to admit to worries about harming their children or to their regrets at having a baby in the first place. Such feelings are normal, experts know, but most mothers aren’t getting the support they need. Illustrated and inspirational, Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts takes a conversational yet serious graphic novel approach to helping mothers cope with their darkest mothering moments. Karen Kleiman, co-author of This Isn’t WhatI Expected, writes with the most empathetic of pens, and the winning illustrations of Molly McIntyre convey a fantastic amount of data and emotion in this flawless project. ” MATT SUTHERLAND (May/June 2019)