SHINING THE LIGHT REVIEW
Shining the Light on PND: The Journey From Darkness To Healing From Post-Natal Depression by Namita Mahanama is a compassionate guide for countless women who struggle with depression after the birth of a child. Mahanama begins with her own story, providing a profoundly honest account of the depths of her depression following the birth of both of her children and the very real, very dangerous state of mind she was in. She uses this together with her professional expertise as a pharmacist to address the stigma and encourage women to come into the light with those who have also suffered. She explains exactly what PND/PPD is, what it is not, what it does, who it impacts, ways to cope, treat it, and ultimately make a breakthrough.
Shining the Light on PND is perhaps the first book I’ve read on post-natal/postpartum depression that embraces both scientific and homeopathic principles. It is also written for readers who are currently in the throes of PND. This scientific and holistic combination is significant because mothers who are grasping for help are extremely vulnerable. Namita Mahanama is empathetic without removing a mother’s choice by stating categorically what is good. Yes, explore the medication because this is a legitimate biological issue and not just in your head, but also set up an alternative and try the Pranayama breathing techniques. Take a bath. Give your little one a baby massage. Talk to people who love you and want you to be whole and healthy. I would have been deeply moved and guided if I’d had Mahanama’s book a few years ago, but thankfully it is here now for those who desperately need it. Very highly recommended.
MY MUMMY AFTER OUR BABY REVIEW
Post-natal depression is incredibly difficult for a family, but it is perhaps more traumatic for the child in the home who is not old enough to understand what is happening. Namita Mahanama and her children’s picture book, My Mummy After Our Baby: A Journey of Hope and Healing, addresses the needs of these younger children and is a tool to convey information in an age-appropriate way. The book begins with a little boy named Ayden who has a beautiful relationship with his parents. An ethereal glow emanates from his mother and they are all excited for the newest family member to join…but everything changes when Ayden’s newborn brother and mother return home, and the glow is replaced by a pall of darkness.
My heart shattered when reading through My Mummy After Our Baby by Namita Mahanama. The transition from Ayden and his parents being so happy and basking in the light of his mum’s energy to this unbearable grey has a crushing impact on Ayden. Ayden does what any child would do and blames the newborn. The mum he knows is gone and he is left with the shell of the person he loves the most in the world, and who loved him. The illustrations contrast both the good and bad, and the way Ayden is shown that by just being himself and loving his mum, the glow and warmth will return, is perfect. It is not his responsibility to heal his mum, but the suggestion that he tell her how much he loves her and simply plays in front of her is beautiful. What a fantastic children’s book!