You have feelings, thoughts, emotions that you never even imagined. Dark thoughts you believed were the realm of nightmares, casting a silent shadow across what should be the happiest days of your life. Depression brings with it so many things, but perhaps the hardest for mothers is the guilt that feels like a lead weight hunched over you. It's a topic close to my heart, as I struggled with prenatal depression during my fifth pregnancy.
I was able to rebuild from my depression, and a major catalyst in my healing was nutrition. The information that Amanda Rose shares in her book Rebuild From Depression is absolutely vital to every mother.
There were two things that helped me turn the tide away from the devastating prenatal depression I experienced: first, minimizing physical pain, and second the foods that I ate.
I vividly remember the Christmas party my husband's company gave that year. I had my choice of whatever I wanted, and I couldn't get enough of the sea foods – shellfish, salmon, shrimp – oh it was all delicious. My body was crying out for those foods. It would be about six weeks later, overshadowed by dark thought I'd never experienced before, that I would realize I needed more of those foods. As winter tentatively began to let up, I began eating the foods Amanda talks about inside Rebuild from Depression – and I began to heal.
I began to take short walks. I began to clean my house. I began to pay attention to my appearance. I began to talk to my baby.
I was vigilant about my nutrition the rest of my pregnancy. I paid special attention to sea foods and B vitamins, splurging on some foods that I normally didn't buy. It still wasn't easy. My midwife was a wonderful listener and my lifeline. But it got better.
I had a phenomenal natural birth. I fell in love with Honor the moment I saw her. She continues to be the light of my life. I have been careful about my nutrition since then, and I have been blessed to never go back to that place of darkness.
For me, this is so very personal. I've written extensively about my journey in the hopes that it will help even one more mother who struggles during pregnancy or postpartum. Amanda is on the same mission. I agree with Nina Planck:
“The best book on depression and food I’ve seen is Rebuild from Depression, by Amanda Rose, who understands the condition from bitter experience.”
The pic below is author Amanda and her newborn son: