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My Mummy After Our Baby by Namita Mahanama
Please welcome Namita Mahanama author of My Mummy After Our Baby
Namita Mahanama will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
My Mummy After Our Baby
by Namita Mahanama
GENRE: Children’s Fiction – Family and Relationships
What or who inspired you to start writing?
Whilst I have always been very articulate with expressing myself, I never thought I would actually write books! As a pharmacist, with my ‘scientific mind’ being wired the way it is, it definitely was not a ‘given’ that I would write.
However, it was my personal experience in life that unfolded, of having post-natal depression from day 5 after giving birth until week 11 with both of my boys, that inspired me to share my story.
I wanted to provide support tools in order to help other women and their families find their way through their experience, which is really what inspired me to start writing.
It was the fact that myself and family felt so alone in what we went through, that I did not want any other family to fumble their way through; but rather have comfort in tools that I wished we had available during my illness.
I have made this my life’s mission now.
What elements are necessary components for this genre?
Definitely being gentle and soft in the delivery, as well as being filled with so much emotion in order to allow for the book to be a connective tool between the mother and child.
It requires honesty, empathy and understanding of the reality of life at home when post-natal depression hits, that can be illustrated and described accurately so other children and families can relate to the reality. This is so they feel seen and not alone in their journey.
It also needed to bring the prospect of hope, to bring a sense of respite and solace that there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
It is a condition that is not spoken about enough, because of the layers of taboo and misconceptions surrounding it. Yet, its effects are far reaching and affects every single person within the home. It is a time filled with darkness and despair; yet the sharing that it can and will get better, is the bright shining light that gives children hope for a better road ahead.
How did you come up with your idea for your novel?
My children’s book is an exact illustration of my experience when I fell ill with post-natal depression the second time, when my eldest son was 4. The characters, the story and the illustrations, all portray exactly my feelings and what happened within our home life.
I remember feeling so alone in my illness and that there were no resources to articulate to our children what was happening. I knew deep within my heart upon my recovery, that it was my duty and absolute need to create a book for children, to explain PND in a beautiful and gentle way; and for the book to be a connective tool between mother and child in and of itself.
I have also written a book for mothers and their partners/carers, which shares my story, as well as my reflections, points about medication as a pharmacist, self-talk, hormones, strategies to help recovery from my Ayurveda, paediatric massage and yoga teaching perspective, strategies for the partner to get through this chapter and healing exercises.
I vowed upon my recovery, that I would do everything humanly possible to offer tools, strategies for other families going through it, as well as work tirelessly to smash through the misconceptions, taboo and stigma that surround perinatal mental health conditions.
Most importantly I want to share the message of hope, that she can and will recover from this and to encourage women to take the brave step of speaking up about how they are feeling, and then walking towards their recovery.
What expertise did you bring to your writing?
In my children’s book, I literally brought my own story to life on the pages. The character Aiden is based on my son Ari and the character baby Kameron, is my son Kaiyaan. The story and illustrations were exactly what happened within our home, so I brought transparency into my sharing, as well as the emotions that we all felt at the time of my illness and the moment of my recovery.
I brought my expertise as a mother and the understanding of how my son felt at the time, as well as real compassion about his place in the whole situation.
We can lose ourselves in our own darkness and suffering, yet offering some explanations and hope to a young child who would be feeling so lost and confused; I feel is the missing link to PND right now.
It is to illustrate to these children, that they are not alone in what they are going through, it is common and that there is so much hope that their mother can and will get better. Words I know that my Ari and Kaiyaan would have wanted to hear.
What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I would want them to know, that working as a pharmacist, I always knew deep within my heart that I was meant to do ‘something’ beyond this role, though I never knew exactly what it was at the time. I searched for it with ‘logic’ and ‘reason’.
Yet, it was through the process of life knocking me down with my two bouts of post-natal depression, through no fault of my own, that when I rose up, I absolutely knew that my purpose was to help and support all women and their families going through PND. It became crystal clear in that moment.
I know it deep within my body, that it is my purpose and dharma to help as many people as I can to not feel alone in their journey, and to offer as many healing tools that I possibly can.
I will work tirelessly until my work is done, and I can bring light and solace into as many homes that need it.
As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
As an Ayurvedic yoga teacher and soon to be Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, I am about to begin an Ayurvedic cookbook sharing recipes and nutrition advice for women during their pregnancy and post-partum period.
Though a cookbook is completely different to my children’s book and non-fiction book writing! I am super excited to be able to create another support tool that women and their partners can utilise to best serve their perinatal and postnatal well-being, through the application of Ayurvedic strategies of nutrition and rejuvenation practices.
I also have been busy ‘blogging’ away on my wholeistichealingco.com blog! Which I hope to keep sharing my insights from my Western and Eastern paradigms, in order to best support women in any and all ways!
If you could be one of the characters from this book, who would it be and why?
I was the mother in this book! It is an exact representation of my story and what I endured, how I felt and the change in the ‘light’ that was present before, during and after falling ill with PND after giving birth.
This character is raw, brutally transparent in her vulnerabilities and stands up to her recovery, because of her son’s shining light and unconditional love.
That was me, and Ari’s unconditional love did give me the strength and courage to keep fighting another day until I recovered.
Can you give us a sneak peek into this book?
It is a story of my life! It has my hubby, our two boys and our dog Rupert, which is our doggy Ruphus! The illustrations are bright, beautiful and highlight all of the different emotions that we all felt in various stages of the journey, with absolute rawness and brutal honesty.
It is filled with emotion and was designed to be a cathartic, connective and bonding tool if the mother read the book to her children herself, as a way to explain what she is going through in a deeply profound way. It also could be read by a partner or family member, if the mother was too unwell to read it; but the emotion would bring empathy and softness into the reality of the situation.
It is shining the light on a condition and time in people’s lives that is dark, difficult and unspoken about; yet so unbelievably common! Post-natal depression reportedly affects 1 in 7 women in Australia alone, and I daresay this number is growing given the pressures of Covid and life right now.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder your writing?
I do not belong to one! I may have benefited from one though in my writing process! It would have been amazing to hear feedback about what was working and not in my creation process; rather than hearing feedback once they have been published!!
Hmmm, maybe for my next book!
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to
take this big step?
I knew instantly upon my recovery that I needed to share my story and write this, though I did not have the courage to actually take action.
It was through sharing my story with friends, reflecting on my journey with my husband and family; where I was told many times that I should disseminate my story and learnings to others. This gave me the push that I needed to actually pick up my laptop and start typing away!
It has been a huge journey working through both books by dissecting my experience inside out! Yet, also a truly healing process and one that I believe will help others.
Laying all of my vulnerabilities and flaws on the table was not an easy process, but I did this in hope of my transparency being able to help and heal others.
What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The worst advice would be, that it would be a simple process! It has been a huge learning curve this publishing gig; one that has a lot more to it than I anticipated!
The best advice I received was that it would be deeply rewarding, which I definitely felt the excitement seeing the printed final version in my hands! All the blood, sweat and tears felt worth it when you see the final product!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I had a brief overview before I started of what my purpose was and what I wanted to include; but I truly just picked up my laptop and started to write, then write some more until I felt it was all there.
I remember I had written the sentence ‘our family of four was complete’ and read the story to Ari…he corrected me and said ‘our family of five was complete…you forgot about Ruphus!’…so he helped to fill in the missing pieces!
How do you maintain your creativity?
I love to journal! I light my candle, put some calming and soothing music on and just write. This helps me clear any subconscious blocks and things I need to work through on a personal level; which I find truly so healing for me.
I also love to walk along the water and feel the fresh air on my skin…it enables me to feel connected to all of life and definitely encourages my creativity!
Who is your favorite character in the book? Can you tell us why?
My favourite character is Aiden, who is based on my eldest son Ari in the book. He is so kind, wise, unconditionally loving…and his strength, guiding light and faith in me, encouraged me to keep fighting for my recovery day after day.
He was my why that I held onto, especially on the days that I felt like giving up. He was the reason that I held on because he never gave up on me and completely savoured our connection the moment I ‘sparked back to life’.
I will be forever grateful for his unconditional love; even now as a 7 year-old.
Are your plotting bunnies, angels or demons?
I will always be plotting bunnies!
Anything else you might want to add?
My greatest hope is that my work changes the narrative of post-natal depression and brings it out of the current hold that society has on it and the families going through it.
My hope would be that we can speak about perinatal mental health as easily as we would about a broken bone; and to support all of our women and their children through their journey.
To see them…hold them…support them…to let them know that they are not alone and to give them so much hope of a glorious life that is available to them too!
My Mummy After Our Baby: A Journey Of Hope and Healing is a beautifully written and illustrated story, about the reality of post-natal depression setting in after the birth of their perfect little baby.
It is a gentle, soft, perfectly put together story, filled with an abundance of emotion and heart to explain what is happening at home, for all children who may be feeling lost and confused about what is happening to their Mummy after becoming unwell.
It is written by a mother who experienced this twice herself and vowed to create a beautiful explanation and tool, in order to provide hope, solace and strength for other families, that she wished was available for her children.
This beautiful book is written in the hope of educating, as well as to be a connective and bonding tool, at a time when a family needs it the most. It is gently and eloquently written, with the most amazing illustrations, that will form the basis of a vital healing tool in the home of everyone who is going through this harrowing chapter.
The author has brought the prospect of hope in a perfect package here and is her gift to you and your family, to navigate through this chapter with as much peace and lightness as possible.
Once upon a time in a far-away town called Knocksville, there lived a little boy called Aydan. He was a very kind, fun, smart and sweet boy full of so much energy and brightness!
Aydan made friends with everyone that he met and he was always the bright spark in every room that he walked into.
Aydan lived with his Mummy and Daddy and they loved spending time together. They played golf, loved going to the beach or running around the park with their little doggy Rupert.
Every day felt like it was filled with so much joy and happiness.
Every night they always shared turns in saying three things that they were thankful for.
Most nights, Aydan would say that he was thankful for food in his tummy, a roof over his head and for having a family who loved and cared for him as much as all of the stars in the sky.
This always made his Mummy’s heart shine brighter, grow bigger and she would hold him tight until he fell asleep.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Namita is a mother of two boys and draws upon her heart-wrenching first-hand experience of post-natal depression, after the birth of both of her children. She is creating a myriad of support tools for women and their families, to navigate through their journeys of PND with as much ease and grace as possible.
Namita is a registered pharmacist who has qualifications in Ayurveda and Ayurveda Yoga teaching, as well as being a PMC (paediatric massage consultant) and CIMI (certified infant massage instructor). She draws upon her professional knowledge as well as her own experience, to be the support lifeline at a time when families need it the most.
Her intention is that she can be a beacon of hope and shine much-needed light, on the road towards the mothers and the entire family’s healing and recovery. She hopes to inspire and uplift you through this chapter in your life.
Connect with Namita Mahanama
Get Your Copy of My Mummy After Our Baby
INDIGO CHAPTERS: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/my-mummy-after-our-baby/9780228862932-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-mummy-after-our-baby-namita-mahanama/1140827876
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/My-Mummy-After-Our-Baby-Namita-Mahanama/9780228862932