Publishers of books that change lives

Staff pick: Becoming a Mother

Becoming a Mother: A journey of uncertainty, transformation and falling in love by Leisa Stathis

I was very moved by Leisa’s approach in this book – a deeply compassionate view of how women experience early motherhood. Some of the stories were powerful for me, particularly the one where she witnessed a new mother playing attentively with her toddler – and (after some indecision) deciding to congratulate her for being such a caring mum. It was a tearful moment for that mother – as it was the first time anyone had said what a good job she was doing.

The joy in this book is knowing the gift it will be for so many new mothers. At its heart, Becoming a Mother is about mothers allowing themselves the opportunity of getting to know their new child. In the midst of all the turmoil of her new life there is so much for a mother to take in, especially if she is also struggling with sleep deprivation, underconfidence and social isolation.

Yet Leisa encourages new mothers to resist the temptation to get everything right … and to allow themselves to help for new mothersbe a ‘good enough’ mother instead. She shows us why this is such a vital time for the mother to become attuned to her baby, and how for some it can be a struggle to bond.

This book has passages of profound power and deep empathy with new mums. She writes: ‘In the moment of birth it is not only a baby that is born, but a mother too’. Leisa encourages the reader to permit a little compassion towards themselves as they encounter the pressures and concerns of the first year. In Becoming a Mother she helps women look into what the relationship is they are building with their new baby ­– one that can be so rewarding if it is free of negativity, overwhelm or perfectionism.

Rex Finch