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LITERARY LOCAL | Kristina Kowan, Naperville

Kristina Cowan WHEN POSTPARTUM PACKS A PUNCH: FIGHTING BACK AND FINDING JOY After Kristina Cowan had her first child, she battled postpartum depression. She searched out books to help her through and found plenty of clinical advice, but nothing that offered stories from other mothers who had been where she was. “What helped me most was the comfort and encouragement I received when I spoke with other mothers. So, I set out to capture it in print and offer it to others for generations to come,” Kristina says.

Her effort turned into her first book, When Postpartum Packs a Punch: Fighting Back and Finding Joy. It offers a mix of different voices – parents, experts and researchers – sharing their encounters with and perspectives on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). “Perhaps the biggest hindrance to progress is stigma,” explains Kristina. “It can silence sufferers and blind those on the sidelines. One of the strongest antidotes for stigma is story.” The diversity of stories in the book underscores the prevalence of mood disorders after childbirth. There are also chapters that focus on how men are affected by PMADs, and what other countries are doing to advance perinatal mental health care.

Kristina lives in Naperville with her husband and two children, Noah (8) and Syma (6). When Postpartum Packs a Punch is available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Powell’s. It is also housed in libraries in 27 states, including the Naperville Public Library. –Mindy Kyle

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