by Stephanie Greunke, R.D. and Whole Mamas Program Director

I remember this feeling like it was yesterday, even though my oldest is now almost four—leaving the hospital with my sweet little one in a brand new outfit, buckled the into his brand new car seat (which I spent hours researching) only to find myself thinking…now what?  I wanted my doula to stay with me forever because I had no idea what I was doing. Google was helpful, kind of, until it led to unnecessary fear and self-doubt. The next stop was Amazon to purchase books on all things baby and postpartum healing to guide me on this new journey through motherhood.

We’ve already shared our favorite books for preconception and pregnancy, so check those out if you’re interested. In this post, we’ll list books for helping you nourish yourself in the postpartum period. We often prioritize baby’s health, placing our needs last. This can leave us feeling burnt out and depleted both mentally and physically. We want you to feel your best, mama! 

Your Nutrition and Wellness

Postnatal Depletion Cure
by Dr. Oscar Serrallach

This new book has easily become my top recommendation for all new moms. Dr. Serrallach tackles common concerns new moms have (mommy brain, fatigue, changes in mood), discusses why they happen from a functional medicine perspective, and provides actionable steps to address them.

First Forty Days
by Heng Ou, Amely Greeven, Marisa Belger

I love the concept of embracing the first 40 days after birth as a time of deep healing, rest, and recovery. The immediate postpartum period will look different for each mama, but it’s important for all mamas to remove the pressure to quickly “bounce back.” There’s no rush or reward for fastest recovery. In this book, you’ll learn why it’s important to slow down and give yourself time to recover postpartum. You’ll be guided through this transition with simple, replenishing meals that have been used by moms to support postpartum healing and recovery.

Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth
by Dr. Jolene Brighten, ND

This is an easy-to-read manual with suggestions for some of your postpartum concerns such as breastfeeding, pelvic pain and discomfort, digestive health, and thyroid support. Dr. Brighten provides guidance on little-discussed topics such as postpartum thyroiditis that could make a world of difference for your health.

The Fourth Trimester
by Kimberly Ann Johnson

This is the ultimate encyclopedia for postpartum with topics ranging from relationships, spirituality, sex, trauma, pelvic floor health, and holistic solutions for common health concerns. While it covers a lot of information, it’s easy to read and the author feels like a friend or mentor. This is something you’ll want to share with your partner and family so they can better understand what you’re experiencing. Prefer to listen? Click to hear our interview with Kimberly on our podcast.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)

Please note that these books aren’t to be used as a replacement for getting professional help. If you need immediate help, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a free and confidential network of more than 140 crisis centers nationwide. It is available 24/7 to contact in a crisis at 1-800-273-8255. You can call for yourself or someone you care about.

For additional help, call Postpartum Support International’s warmline at 800-944-4773. You’ll get a return call within several hours. You can also visit their website Click here to connect with your closest coordinator to get info, support, resources, and referrals to providers trained to treat PPD in your area.

Beyond the Blues
by Shoshana Bennett, PhD and Pec Indman, EdD, MFT

Shoshana Bennett, PhD has a gift for helping moms understand the fears and concerns they’re experiencing while navigating a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. In this book she shares information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in an approachable, compassionate way, speaking from her personal experience. If you love her approach, she offers at-home phone consultations.

This Isn’t What I Expected
by Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW and Valerie Davis Raskin, MD

This book makes you feel understood, supported, and empowered if you’re navigating postpartum depression. In addition to offering coping techniques for moms, it has a chapter for helping partners understand what’s happening and provides them with strategies for navigating this season.

Body Full of Stars
by Molly Caro May

Recommended by Chelsea, our Content Coordinator, this is one woman’s story of her postpartum journey. The contents are often raw and brutally honest as she describes her struggles with physical and mental health after the birth of her first baby. Reading someone else’s experience can help remind you that you’re normal and you’re not alone.

Prefer to listen to experts discuss PMADs? I’ve interviewed experts in maternal mental health and paternal mental health on my podcast.

Any books we missed? Hop over to our Facebook or Instagram and let us know in the comments.


Header Photo: Fabiola Peñalba

Stephanie Greunke is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition who specializes in women’s health. She is a certified personal trainer and prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist. Stephanie guides and supports women locally and globally through her web-based private practice,

Note: Some of the links contained in this website are affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate. We only recommend products and services that we know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not.