February 6, 2009

Meet Ivy Shih Leung - PPD Writer Extraordinaire!

I've had the pleasure to get to know Ivy Shih Leung, a new writer on the scene who is tackling PPD in a big way. Ivy's wrapping up a book that she started writing shortly after suffering from PPD following the birth of her precious daughter.  And she just started a new blog where you can learn more on PPD statistics while reading her touching prose.  Here's an excerpt from her latest post:

"Fueled by the passion to help other women, angered by public remarks like 'There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance,' and determined to help stamp out the ignorance about PPD, I set out 5 months after my daughter was born and 2 months into my recovery to start writing my book and get the message out that those remarks couldn’t be further from the truth.  Determined to learn more about this misunderstood, under-diagnosed and undertreated illness, I joined Postpartum Support International (PSI) in 2006 and attended annual conferences to network with and pick up the latest information from subject matter experts.  I also attended two PSI fundraisers in my old hometown of N. Caldwell, NJ, which was hosted by Sylvia Lasalandra, author of 'A Daughter’s Touch' and attended by Senator Robert Menendez, Governor Jon Corzine, former NJ First Lady Mary Jo Codey (PPD survivor), Senator Richard Codey, and Dr. Manny Alvarez of Fox News, among many others.  I plan to participate in the Sounds of Silence second annual run/walk fundraising event on May 9th on Long Island.

Having PPD at a time when mothers are “supposed to feel nothing but absolute bliss”-one of the “motherhood myths” I touch on in my book-is so embarrassing and difficult to talk about, that most women will not tell their stories to people they know, let alone to the world. There’s this fear of being judged, criticized and labeled as crazy and, worse yet, unfit mothers.

Well, I am not afraid to tell my story, especially if it means helping other mothers. I want to make a positive impact by empowering women with knowledge about an illness that is more prevalent than people think. One out of eight mothers (that’s a rate of 20%) suffer from PPD.  And I’m not talking about the baby blues, either.  Approximately 80% of mothers experience what is referred to as baby blues-the tendency to be teary/emotional due to the huge hormonal changes that occur with childbirth-within the first couple of weeks postpartum and resolves on its own."

Please check out Ivy's blog for the rest of her story, as well as additional info on PPD.

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