Main Line Mom Goes ‘Beyond the Baby Blues’ in New Book
Rebecca Fox Starr of the "Mommy, Ever After" blog now has a new book on pre- and postpartum depression and anxiety.
Rebecca Fox Starr is, as she says, just trying to “keep it real.” This month, this Main Line mom, blogger, singer and proclaimed “dance-partier” has done that in a huge way, with the publication of Beyond the Baby Blues: Anxiety and Depression During and After Pregnancy, an honest and personal — and, at the same time, scholarly and informative — book about pre- and postpartum depression and anxiety.
Beyond the Baby Blues is already a great success: on release day it was sold out on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, and topped the charts in the postpartum and OB-GYN categories on Amazon. It’s getting rave reviews, too — Publisher’s Weekly lauded the book as a “valuable refuge for expectant mothers and their families confronting the specter of prenatal and postpartum depression.”
Starr, who lives in Wynnewood, has been on a mission to support moms on the Main Line — and beyond — since 2010, when she had her first child and launched her blog, Mommy, Ever After. She founded the blog as a place to talk about topics she felt people weren’t speaking honestly about: breastfeeding, moments of doubt, anger, and worry, challenges in marriage after kids, and more.
Her goal through her blog — and really through her whole life as a mom, daughter and friend — is to open up about weaknesses and help people feel less alone.
When Starr had her second child in 2013, she experienced prenatal anxiety and serious postpartum depression, and wrote about her experience as she was going through it. When she decided to open up about her mental health in real time, Starr thought that if she helped one woman it would be worth it.
She went well beyond that: the blog’s readership spiked. Her dream to write a book, and expand that audience to help even more expectant and new moms, as well as partners, family members, friends, and health care professionals, was born. (Starr also told her story in the fall 2014 issue of Main Line Parent.)
Starr said the publication of Beyond the Baby Blues as “a dream come true” for which she is “so, so grateful.” The book is structured around her story as a mother, and her poignant writing about her own journey is an extension of the honest, supportive viewpoint for which her blog is known. (Her audience comes from all 50 states, as well as over 160 countries around the world.)
Beyond the Baby Blues dives deeper than Starr’s blog. Within the main story are well-researched, clear explanations of perinatal anxiety, postpartum depression, and other mental health issues that can challenge expectant and new mothers. By interspersing these chapters within her own story, Starr helps readers see one way pre- and postnatal mental health issues can play out in real life.
The book is intended to help readers understand the medical reasons for pre- and postnatal mental health issues, and then consider what they can do to recognize signs in their loved ones and support them in seeking treatment.
More than anything, Starr hopes that Beyond the Baby Blues can help readers to discern between the normal ups and downs of motherhood and pre-motherhood that we all experience, and a real need for treatment, and provide the confidence readers need to speak up for themselves or on behalf of someone that they love.
Want a copy, with a chance to meet the author? Join Rebecca Fox Starr to celebrate the release of Beyond the Baby Blues. She’s hosting a “Happy Hour for Happiness” to celebrate and thank her supporters on Wednesday, January 31, from 4 — 6 pm at Tredici in Bryn Mawr, featuring cocktails, light bites, and an opportunity to buy the book and have it signed.
Photographs courtesy of Rebecca Fox Starr.