The most recommended postpartum depression books

Who picked these books? Meet our 9 experts.

9 authors created a book list connected to postpartum depression, and here are their favorite postpartum depression books.
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Book cover of Little Darlings

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From my list on changeling lore.

Who am I?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Katrina Monroe Why did Katrina love this book?

Little Darlings was the first book I’d read in a long time that made me feel seen.

When Lauren came home from the hospital after delivering twins only to find her life had not become as picture perfect as she was led to believe, I felt a keen connection. Told with visceral desperation, Lauren’s story is one we can all relate to—a story of self-doubt and a mad scramble for validation. 

By Melanie Golding,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Little Darlings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Atmospheric and very creepy' The Guardian

'Goosebump-inducing...Unforgettable' Woman & Home

'Unforgettable...One suspects that the real sorceress here is Golding, whose writing has given a voice to every wronged mother' The New York Times

'Chilling story...stunning' Clare Mackintosh

'Taps into every woman's fear that she will not be believed' Mel McGrath, author of The Guilty Party

* * * *

THE TWINS ARE CRYING. THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY.
LAUREN IS CRYING. LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED.

Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . .

A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone is trying to steal…


Book cover of The Smiling Mask: Truths about Postpartum Depression and Parenthood

Dawn Thomas-Cameron Author Of The Path to Perfection: Parenting without a roadmap: tales from a (non) perfect parent

From my list on honest, real life, emotion evoking parents.

Who am I?

I started this book in 2007. It was a compilation of stories from my experience as a parent; there was no structure to it at all. When my second husband passed in 2017, an ad appeared in Facebook for Author Academy Elite (AAE). I knew it was my late husband giving me that one final push to get the book done. As a (non) perfect parent of three children, I felt my experience could benefit others as I am continuing my journey along my Path to Perfection. As a person who has struggled with depression for her entire life, I can honestly say that parenting is hard. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. And that’s why I think you’ll enjoy these books!

Dawn's book list on honest, real life, emotion evoking parents

Dawn Thomas-Cameron Why did Dawn love this book?

This book focused on three stories from women who experienced postpartum depression in varying degrees. Through the stories, it raises awareness about various degrees of postpartum depression and the spectrum of symptoms. The stories are raw and emotional.  And yes, I cried through many parts of the story.

The title refers to how we try to hide from the realities of parenting by wearing smiling masks even when we are depressed. A must-read for ANY parent – any gender, any experience level.

By Carla Joan O'Reilly, Peggy Collins, Tania Bird , Elita Paterson

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Smiling Mask as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Truths about Postpartum Depression and Parenthood


Book cover of Happy With Baby: Essential Relationship Advice When Partners Become Parents

Elly Taylor Author Of Becoming Us: The Couple's Guide to Parenthood

From my list on pregnancy and new parenthood for couples.

Who am I?

Around 25 years ago, I thought my husband and I were ready for parenthood…until we got there. And as a relationship counselor, I was listening to countless stories of couples struggling through the rollercoaster ride of becoming a family too. So I wondered: can couples actually prepare for this? For years I waited for a book to recommend to my clients to guide them after our sessions ended and I ended up writing (an award-winning) one instead. This turned into training for professionals, and now expectant couples are doing Becoming Us courses at the hospitals where our three children were born. And, thankfully, there are more books to support new families too!

Elly's book list on pregnancy and new parenthood for couples

Elly Taylor Why did Elly love this book?

I love Catherine’s sense of humor. Even the contents page makes me laugh out loud! Catherine shares anecdotes from her own relationship with her husband Rick and examples from other couples that make this book really relatable and easy to digest. Happy With Baby provides concrete, real-world advice, lots of compassion, and inspiration for some specific topics not covered by other books including: overcoming a hard pregnancy, three questions to ask daily for better communication between partners, what to say when mom needs to take self-care and handling unwanted parenting advice that can sometimes create conflict between parents. There’s plenty of empathy in here and also some good laughs.

Best for: new parents and friends of new parents to recommend to them.

By Catherine O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Happy With Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Less sleep, stressful life changes, and even postpartum depression are things most new parents know are possible when baby comes home.

Sudden relationship and personal challenges might come as a big surprise though! Navigating life as a family can be harder than expected. Between unwanted parenting advice and no time for self-care, good communication with your partner can halt to a standstill. Your once-steady partner suddenly feels like part of the problem.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Catherine O’Brien and her husband lay out the communication skills and relationship strategies that new moms and dads need during baby’s first year…


Book cover of The Yellow Wallpaper

Kay Freeman Author Of The Devil You Know: Gothic Romance Suspense

From my list on gothic with obsessed characters.

Who am I?

I’ve always had an interest in art, growing up a military brat and constantly moving, left me time to doodle and read. I spent the first part of my life as an art professor and artist. I began writing three years ago when my manuscript was chosen for RWA’s Ramp program in 2021. With my art, my interest leans more towards the bizarre and unexplained. I believe the romance stories I write follow suit, dark and gothic romance my primary interest, but always with spiritual and hopeful undertones. I also write some non-fiction for a local magazine where I live, The Greenville Stroll and on substack a newsletter for romance writers.

Kay's book list on gothic with obsessed characters

Kay Freeman Why did Kay love this book?

This book unleashed my interest in gothic literature, and soon after, I wrote my book.

I enjoy the way the narrative begins innocently and picks up momentum. Racing to the ending like a runaway train. I did something similar in my book with the pacing. Stetson's novella feels so much more prominent in scope than a novella. What makes this gothic is that it captures the deterioration of a woman into madness, in much the same way Edgar Allen Poe did with his male protagonist in The Raven.

You can read Stetson's novella for free. It's in the public domain. 

By Charlotte Perkins Gilman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Yellow Wallpaper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Yellow Wallpaper (original title: "The Yellow Wall-paper. A Story") is a 6,000-word short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in The New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's health, both physical and mental.


Presented in the first person, the story is a collection of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband (John) has rented an old mansion for the summer. Forgoing other rooms in the house, the couple moves into the upstairs nursery. As…


Book cover of Life as a mother: From the Diamonds to the Dirt of Motherhood

Dawn Thomas-Cameron Author Of The Path to Perfection: Parenting without a roadmap: tales from a (non) perfect parent

From my list on honest, real life, emotion evoking parents.

Who am I?

I started this book in 2007. It was a compilation of stories from my experience as a parent; there was no structure to it at all. When my second husband passed in 2017, an ad appeared in Facebook for Author Academy Elite (AAE). I knew it was my late husband giving me that one final push to get the book done. As a (non) perfect parent of three children, I felt my experience could benefit others as I am continuing my journey along my Path to Perfection. As a person who has struggled with depression for her entire life, I can honestly say that parenting is hard. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. And that’s why I think you’ll enjoy these books!

Dawn's book list on honest, real life, emotion evoking parents

Dawn Thomas-Cameron Why did Dawn love this book?

Motherhood is a gift. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. Chantelle, the author, touches on the less pleasant parts of motherhood. I cried 11 pages in because I empathized with a lot of what Chantelle was saying. I think I related to the author’s story so much because she struggled with her own mental health issues throughout her time as a mother. The book touches on postpartum depression (for moms and dads). Yes, dads can have postpartum too!

The book is raw, emotional, and the absolute truth.

By Chantelle Lambert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life as a mother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life as a Mother is not your ordinary How to Guide.

Do you want to read real experiences from a real mother’s perspective that you can actually relate to? Or are you a mother-to-be and you want to know what it’s really like? We get the unrealistic perspective of motherhood everywhere, and we find ourselves going in blind. We see motherhood as being full of smiles and happiness, but it is so much more than that. It’s also full of tears, fears, anger, boredom, and loneliness—not to mention depression and anxiety on top of everything else.

Being a mother is…


Book cover of Grace Under Pressure

Nicola Moriarty Author Of You Need To Know

From my list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity.

Who am I?

Mental illness has been such a huge part of my life for so long now that it has become second nature for me to incorporate it into my work. After suffering postnatal depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years and regularly see a wonderful psychologist. Recently, I added a psychiatrist into the mix who diagnosed me with ADHD, so now I’m learning to juggle ADHD meds alongside the antidepressants. I’ve always been passionate about talking and writing openly and honestly about my own personal experiences because if there is any chance that I can help someone else with my words, then I’m going to take it.

Nicola's book list on strong leads with mental illness or neurodiversity

Nicola Moriarty Why did Nicola love this book?

I absolutely love being a mother – but becoming a mum wasn’t the simple experience I thought it would be. I suffered from post-natal depression after the birth of both of my daughters and it was a shock for me to discover that motherhood wasn’t as easy and natural as I’d imagined. That’s why I loved reading Grace Under Pressure – it perfectly captures the ups and downs of motherhood and the terrifying loneliness, while simultaneously incorporating humour, heart, and comradery between women.

By Tori Haschka,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grace Under Pressure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Ignore everything you think you’re meant to be doing, and bunker down with this.’ Better Reading

Big Little Lies meets Marian Keyes with a dash of Donna Hay; a deliciously hilarious, honest and heartfelt portrayal of modern-day motherhood and the saving grace of female friendship.

Grace Harkness looks like she has it all – two beautiful children, four cookbooks under her belt and an idyllic beachside home #blessed. But add another baby on the way (oops), a spouse that is nowhere to be seen and a relentless list of things she ‘should’ be doing, and Grace is starting to unravel.…


Book cover of Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers

Mark Williams Author Of Fathers and Perinatal Mental Health: A Guide for Recognition, Treatment and Management

From my list on for new fathers about their mental health.

Who am I?

Mark Williams is a keynote speaker, author, and international campaigner. In 2004 he himself experienced depression and suffered in silence for years until he entered community mental health services. He founded International Fathers Mental Health Day and #Howareyoudad campaign to make sure all parents are having support for the whole family. In 2020 Mark published the report called "Fathers Reaching Out - Why Dads Matter" to explain the importance of paternal mental health which has far better outcomes for the whole family and the development of the child when we include fathers. Mark is also an ambassador for Mothers For Mothers Charity.

Mark's book list on for new fathers about their mental health

Mark Williams Why did Mark love this book?

The book includes a review of recent studies and research in this area, looking at the effects of postnatal depression on children and relationships, and an investigation into the reasons behind male postnatal depression, including the social and psychoanalytic factors which go some way to explaining why men experience this depression as well as women.

By Olivia Spencer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sad Dad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens to men when they become fathers? Why do some men get depressed, and how can we identify those who are? What does this mean for their children and their relationships? What can we do about it? Taking in many different perspectives, this book sheds light on the many aspects of postnatal depression in fathers - an unknown subject to many people. The book includes a review of recent studies and research in this area, looking at the effects of postnatal depression on children and relationships, and an investigation into the reasons behind male postnatal depression, including the social…


Book cover of DAD: Untold stories of Fatherhood, Love, Mental Health and Masculinity

Mark Williams Author Of Fathers and Perinatal Mental Health: A Guide for Recognition, Treatment and Management

From my list on for new fathers about their mental health.

Who am I?

Mark Williams is a keynote speaker, author, and international campaigner. In 2004 he himself experienced depression and suffered in silence for years until he entered community mental health services. He founded International Fathers Mental Health Day and #Howareyoudad campaign to make sure all parents are having support for the whole family. In 2020 Mark published the report called "Fathers Reaching Out - Why Dads Matter" to explain the importance of paternal mental health which has far better outcomes for the whole family and the development of the child when we include fathers. Mark is also an ambassador for Mothers For Mothers Charity.

Mark's book list on for new fathers about their mental health

Mark Williams Why did Mark love this book?

DAD is a deeply moving and inspiring collection of stories that represent the diversity of modern fatherhood and seeks to start a conversation that challenges the traditions associated with masculinity.

Including 20 powerful and defiant stories about postnatal depression, becoming a new dad during the pandemic, miscarriage, widowhood, stillbirth, co-parenting, childbirth trauma, work-life balance, new dads at work, shared parental leave, being a stay-at-home dad, gay fatherhood, and surrogacy, being a stepdad, black fatherhood, raising a child of dual heritage, being a single dad, faith, and fatherhood, raising a child with autism, gender stereotypes and more. Elliot Rae and MFF

By Elliott Rae,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked DAD as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DAD is a deeply moving and inspiring collection of stories that represent the diversity of modern fatherhood and seeks to start a conversation that challenges the traditions associated with masculinity.

Including 20 powerful and defiant stories about postnatal depression, becoming a new dad during the pandemic, miscarriage, widowhood, stillbirth, co-parenting, childbirth trauma, work-life balance, new dads at work, shared parental leave, being a stay-at-home dad, gay fatherhood and surrogacy, being a stepdad, black fatherhood, raising a child of dual heritage, being a single dad, faith and fatherhood, raising a child with autism, gender stereotypes and more.

This is a ground-breaking…