I started a hashtag yesterday: #PPDforDummies. Let me explain.
When I was recovering from postpartum depression (and postpartum anxiety) (and postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder), Postpartum Depression for Dummies by Dr. Shoshana Bennett was my bible. It helped me understand what was happening to me and gave me tons of great ideas to help me get better.
I remember finding this book online and thinking, Holy crap, For Dummies published a book about this? Then it must be really common.
A few months later, as I started to feel more like myself, I thought, This book really needs to be in the waiting room for every pediatrician and obstetrician.
That was over three years ago. At last, I am finally following through on my idea to make sure this book is EVERYWHERE because no woman should think she is alone when she is suffering from a maternal mood disorder.
I donated a copy of Postpartum Depression for Dummies to the parent education class that Julian and I attend. They have a library with books about pregnancy and baby care, and now they have PPD for Dummies. I think this is the one book about maternal mood disorders that every mom needs in her life.
Folks, I’m publishing a memoir about my postpartum adventures in a few months, but this is the book I really want everyone to read. That is how serious I am about this book.
I have thought long and hard about the best way to get copies of this book into the waiting rooms of pediatricians and obstetricians. Should I start a Kickstarter? Form a non-profit? Host a fundraiser?
Then I realized the best way to start was to just start. Sometimes a little grassroots advocacy is the most effective way to raise awareness.
I hope I can inspire other advocates to donate copies of PPD For Dummies – or whatever book they love the most – to all the places that moms visit.
And you know what? This does not have to be a purely altruistic mission. I wrote a little love note with the address for my podcast’s website on the front page of the book. Think of the marketing possibilities for doulas, midwives, therapists, and anyone else working with new moms! In a world where everyone is screaming for attention on social media, why not differentiate yourself from the pack and reach moms in a totally different way?
I am going to create an actual nice “bookplate” to paste into future copies that I share. Something much prettier than my handwriting. But hey, I did not want another excuse to procrastinate. Maybe a mom will be in that classroom tomorrow and see the book and go home, order it from Amazon, and finally get the help she needs. How could I wait another day to make a pretty bookplate when there are moms suffering right this very second?
So that is why I started a hashtag. If you feel inspired and donate a copy of Postpartum Depression for Dummies to your pediatrician, obstetrician, whomever, please let me know! Post a photo on Instagram or Facebook, don’t forget to tag #PPDforDummies, and I’ll let my podcast listeners know. (I’m @Courtney.Novak on Instagram. Tag me, too, to help spread the word and make sure I see your post!)
I’ll start a page on this website to list all the people who get involved and include links to where you live online. This is such an easy way to make a difference.
We can change the world one book at a time.