Awake at 3 A.M.: Yoga Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Pregnancy and Early Motherhood
“Pregnancy and new motherhood are often thought of as the most joyful, exciting, and blissful times in your life–but they can also be difficult and overwhelming. Yoga therapy offers practical mind-body tools (simple breath, movement, and mindfulness practices) to support you and provide solace, steadiness, and ease in difficult times. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the number one “complication” of birth. They affect not just moms who suffer, but also the families who care about and rely on those moms. More than twice as many moms suffer from PMADs as gestational diabetes. Yet while robust support and treatment options exist for diabetes, moms who suffer emotionally are rarely acknowledged. Instead of receiving help, they are handed platitudes like “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” “Let go of stress because it’s bad for the baby,” or “Just enjoy every minute because it goes by so fast.” This can be a lonely and confusing place to be–suffering profound fear or sadness at a time when your friends and family expect you to be happy, radiant, and beatifically calm. As a therapist supporting women’s mental health and those recovering from perinatal mood disorders and trauma since 2003, Suzannah Neufeld is keenly aware of the special needs of women during pregnancy and the first year of motherhood. Synthesizing modern psychotherapeutic research with practical yoga therapy, Neufeld offers a compassionate, acceptance-based approach that meets women (and their partners) wherever they are. Awake at 3 a.m. contains short, digestible chapters that are perfect for when you are feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. Neufeld skillfully dismantles the myths and internal beliefs that contribute to the suffering of new mothers, and tells her own story with honesty and humor. The yoga practices are designed to fit into your life as it is now–no flexibility, mat, special clothes, or 90-minute yoga class required”–
Suzannah Neufeld, MFT, C-IAYT, is a licensed psychotherapist, certified yoga therapist, and mother of two who has specialized in supporting people coping with eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, and pregnancy and early parenthood since 2003. She is a co-founder of Rockridge Wellness Center, a counseling and health collective in Oakland, CA, where she has a private practice and leads yoga therapy workshops. Awake at 3 a.m. is her first book.
“Suzannah Neufeld has given expectant and new mothers an extraordinary gift. Written with honesty, heartfelt wisdom, and compassion, Suzannah weaves together her deep understanding of yoga as a meditative discipline, psychology, and her own experiences of pregnancy and early mothering, offering guidance in awareness practices that can bring benefit in any moment during the profoundly life-changing journey of becoming–and being–a mother.” –Nancy Bardacke, CNM, Founding Director of the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting program and author of Mindful Birthing
“Awake at 3 a.m. is a necessary treatise for mothers with helpful insight and practical tools that offer the potential to soothe, ease, and nourish (something often directed at the newborn and not the mother herself). I wish this book existed during my pregnancy and my early experiences of motherhood. Suzannah Neufeld has truly offered us all a gift with her words of wisdom and expertise.” –Melanie Klein, Co-founder of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and co-editor of Yoga and Body Image
“Suzannah Neufeld’s experience as a psychotherapist and yoga therapist qualifies her to guide women through the sometimes rocky waters of pregnancy and new motherhood. But it is her personal honesty, her compassion, and her commitment to offer a light in dark waters that really makes this book stand out. Awake at 3 a.m. is a must have guide for all mamas.” –Jane Austin, Founder/Director Mama Tree Prenatal Yoga School and Director of Prenatal and Postnatal Program at Yoga Tree
“If you are pregnant or a new mom who is struggling, Awake at 3 a.m. is a map for the road to recovery. Neufeld’s training, experience, and compassion oozes out of every page, leaving the reader feeling understood and supported. Her ability to bust through myths and debunk stereotypes, in particular about the practice of yoga, is incredibly powerful and effective. This book will change your life.” –Pec Indman, Chairperson of the Education and Training Committee, Postpartum Support International”Suzannah Neufeld acknowledges and digs into all the feelings around parenting, no matter how messy they may be. In doing so, she shows us how yoga therapy can support new mothers and how motherhood can be embraced as a yogic practice.” —Roseanne Harvey, It’s All Yoga, Baby