I’m a Therapist for Moms: Here Are The Best Books to Prepare for Matrescence

April 13, 2024

Vanessa Leveille

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I'm a therapist-mom who writes in hopes of helping moms of color navigate the matrescence journey and create a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

Mental Health
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Hi, I'm vanessa

Stepping into Matrescence can feel like a journey through unfamiliar territory. I’m here with you, not only as a Holistic Matrescence and Postpartum therapist but also as a new-ish mom feeling all of it. 

To help you navigate these transformative waters, I’ve curated a list of essential books for any mom entering this phase.

These selections are more than informative—they’re lifelines that have supported countless mothers I’ve worked with, alongside my own experiences. 

In this blog post, I’ll share the books that I’ve either read myself or on my list to read. These books offer support, wisdom, and a sense of solidarity. Whether you’re looking for personal stories or expert advice, these reads will guide you through the highs and lows of Matrescence.

What is Matrescence?

Have you heard of Matrescence? It’s like the transition of adolescence except you transitioned to becoming a mother. Coined in the 1970s by Dana Raphael, Matrescence describes the massive shift women experience as they transition into motherhood—physically, emotionally, and psychologically. 

Despite its significance, it’s still not as widely recognized as it should be, much like many motherhood issues. 

The good news? 

Awareness is on the rise, and there’s a growing number of resources dedicated to helping mothers navigate this transformative phase. 

Why I Chose These Matrescence Books

Choosing the right books for your Matrescence journey can make all the difference. The books we’re diving into are your perfect companions for embracing and understanding Matrescence, shedding light on this profound journey and empowering mothers along the way.

Here’s why I handpicked these particular ones:

Firstly, some of them are short reads! We all know time is a precious commodity when you’re juggling motherhood. Whether you’re squeezing in a few pages during baby’s naptime, while nursing, or just before bed, these books are perfect. They’re easy to digest in short bursts so you can pick up right where you left off without missing a beat.

Each book covers a variety of topics crucial to understanding postpartum and Matrescence. From nutrition and sleep to hormone balance and mental health, it’s important to have a holistic view. Postpartum isn’t just about mood swings and hormonal changes; there’s a whole world of information that can empower you during this transformative phase.

I also chose these books because their stories and tips are incredibly relatable, applicable, and practical. It’s so valuable when you can see yourself in the stories you read and feel confident that you can apply what you learn to your daily life.

Lastly, because I’ve personally read, own, and plan to read these books. I believe in recommending books that I have firsthand experience with. And the ones I have not read are on my list and I am eager to read them.

Now, let’s prepare to dive into the six books I recommend, that have made a significant impact on my Matrescence journey and, I hope, will do the same for you.

Six Best Books to Prepare for Matrescence

What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood by Alexandra Sacks and Catherine Birndorf

Let’s kick things off with a true game-changer. “What No One Tells You” takes you through the emotional rollercoaster of Matrescence like a wise friend who knows just what to say and when. It’s your personal guide to the ups and downs of becoming a mom, unpacking all those rarely discussed truths about motherhood that you’re probably curious about. This book doesn’t just explain what’s happening—it helps you feel understood and less alone on your journey. So, if you’re looking for real talk about the emotional shifts of motherhood, this book should definitely be on your shelf.

Initial Thoughts (since I have not read this yet): I’m interested in reading a book that is geared towards the perinatal journey by another renowned Matrescence expert, Alexandra Sacks.

Mama Rising: Discovering the New You Through Motherhood by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, who happens to be one of my mentors and with whom I have studied Matrescence, offers “Mama Rising,” a heartfelt guide to finding yourself again through motherhood. This book is perfect for those moments when you feel lost in the transition and need some practical advice to pull you through. This was the book that introduced me to Matrescence, and made everything make sense. It was also the book that introduced me to other motherhood issues, and illuminated so much for me.

Favorite Quote:

Matrescence is not just about becoming a mother; it’s about becoming yourself.”

Motherhood by Lisa Marchiano

Lisa Marchiano’s “Motherhood” invites you to explore the deeper, often unspoken layers of becoming a mom. This books sounds like it takes you on a journey of you. Every review on this book shared stories of mothers discovering themselves in profound ways because of what this book offers. It’s a blend of myth, dream analysis, and real-life motherhood, offering a fresh lens to view your journey through. This book will resonate if you love to connect with stories that go beyond the surface.

Initial thoughts: Reading the reviews on this had me so intrigued. I have this book on a pile on my nightstand, and I am looking forward to reading it.

Mothering the New Mother: Women’s Feelings & Needs After Childbirth: A Support and Resource Guide by Sally Placksin

Sally Placksin’s “Mothering the New Mother” is all about supporting YOU. It’s a reminder that taking care of the mom is just as important as taking care of the baby. Matrescence is about coming back to you, and discovering who you are in the different seasons of your Matrescence. This book is a treasure trove of support, advice, and empathy that can help you navigate the often overwhelming postpartum period.

Initial thoughts: Similar to some of the other books, I love a book that focuses on the mother, and reminding her that she is an important factor in motherhood.

Getting Out of Survival Mode: The Ultimate Nervous System Support Guidebook & Self-Care Plan for Mothers as they transition through Matrescence & Beyond by Shona Hattin

Feel like you’re just surviving? Shona Hattin’s guide is here to change that. “Getting Out of Survival Mode” offers practical tips to help recalibrate your nervous system. It’s about finding that sweet spot where you can thrive, not just survive, during Matrescence and beyond. I love that this book incorporates nervous system support, because as a Holistic Matrescence and Postpartum Therapist, there is value in helping moms do this important work given all that we experience.

Initial thoughts: Again, as I mentioned, love that this is a guidebook that teaches you different techniques and skills to strengthen your nervous system.

Matrescence: On Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood by Lucy Jones

Rounding out our list, Lucy Jones takes a deep dive into the cultural, physical, and emotional aspects of motherhood in “Matrescence.” This book is a beautiful exploration of the profound changes women go through, filled with personal stories and cultural insights that celebrate the journey of becoming a mom. So the thing with this book is I wonder if it is an updated edition since the author had a similar one with a different cover at one point. Either way, it’s been on my list to read for a while, and I am looking forward to reading this one as well since it has great reviews too.

Initial thoughts: Based on the reviews, it sounds like this book is one of those you read and feel so seen and heard. Definitely on my list.

Each of these books offer a unique perspective on the journey through Matrescence, and I’m sure they’ll be companions for those moments when you need a little extra understanding, support, or a reminder that you’re doing just fine. 


As mothers, our journey is as unique as the fingerprints on our children’s tiny fingers. Yet, in the midst of our individual experiences, we find solace, inspiration, and kinship in the stories and wisdom shared by fellow mothers and experts. 

These books can be a guiding light for your Matrescence journey, and a source of empowerment as we navigate the beautiful, messy, and miraculous journey of motherhood.

I hope these books serve as trusted resources, offering wisdom, support, and a reminder that you are never alone on this extraordinary journey called Matrescence.

 Happy reading, Mama!

Seek Support from a Matrescence Therapist

If you’re a mom of color, who is also high-achieving, in Massachusetts or Texas seeking compassionate and culturally informed online therapy to help you navigate motherhood and Matrescence, I invite you to reach out to me. I am a perinatal therapist who specializes in working with moms of color and can provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the challenges of Matrescence and create a life of harmony, confidence, and joy.

Fill out the form on my contact page so we can chat more and explore how I can support you on your journey.

Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. I’m here to help you overcome challenges, thrive as a mother, and discover the strength and resilience that lies within you.

If you want to learn more about the journey of becoming a mother, called Matrescence, download your free guide today and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

Click link here to download the free guide.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog post. What resonated with you most? What questions do you have? Share your insights and experiences in the comments section below.

Together, we can create a supportive community for moms of color, sharing our journeys, encouraging each other, and finding strength in our shared experiences.

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