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The Motherhood (ed by Jamila Rizvi, Viking)

All new mothers need to read this book—when they have time, of course, and are not insanely tired, which is a long shot. However, it is no exaggeration to say this book has something for everyone. In The Motherhood, more than 30 women, including Clare Bowditch, Clementine Ford, Rebecca Sparrow, Jo Stanley and Em Rusciano, relay their gutsy accounts of being a new mum by writing letters to their former selves. Numerous topics are covered, from mastitis woes, the breastmilk versus bottle debate, body image, postnatal depression and nasty nurses. They are the kind of issues that aren’t discussed in much detail before you give birth. A standout is Jessica Rudd’s contribution and her view on returning to work: ‘You’re more capable now than you’ve ever been. You’ve acquired new skills and honed old ones.’ Editor Jamila Rizvi has done a stellar job here, and the only quibble is that the book could have benefited from being slightly shorter. The Motherhood shows that hindsight is indeed a wonderful—and useful—thing. Bravo to these women who have bravely put themselves out there in the hope that their stories will help new mothers find the strength to push on through.

Katie Haydon is a former assistant editor of Books+Publishing and is completing a Grad Dip in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy


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