• Dr Julia Hodgson (@drjuliaparents)

An Open Letter to Barnes & Noble

Updated: Feb 1

Originally published on social media on October 6, 2020.

Barnes & Noble has yet to respond.


I went to Barnes & Noble a few weeks back, my first trip into a store in months, by the way. I scoured the parenting section, psychology section, social sciences, self-help, and alternative medicine looking for books on postpartum depression. Do you know how many there were? NONE. ⁠

I checked online and there were none in a store in a 100 mile radius, in fact. Not one single book. ⁠

It had taken me so much to convince myself to get up and go to that store. To deal with my anxiety about covid. To leave my babies. To muster the energy to do something for myself when I was really depressed and struggling. I knew I could order online, but I felt desperate. I needed to read something and I needed it then. After all that, and a half hour searching the store, I felt like an idiot. ⁠

Multiple shelves on parenting and pregnancy and there was one book on taking care of the mother total. A few dad books. A few about parenting styles and the rest were about the kids. And, let me repeat, ZERO BOOKS ON POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION. ⁠

It was so incredibly invalidating. Humiliating. I went to my car and cried. I had spent weeks-- months actually-- feeling like I was broken and hopeless and nothing could help me. My first big attempt to reach out for help and there was nothing there for me. It felt like it proved that I didn't deserve the help or that help wasn't possible. ⁠

In a huge store, there wasn't room for one lousy book to help someone like me. ⁠

Shame on you, B&N. ⁠

And for those of you seeking help or wanting support or to know you're not alone... you're not. I am right here. I can point you in the right direction if you need help finding books or resources or support groups online. Do not think for one more minute that it's hopeless.⁠

Love, ⁠

Julia Hodgson

@drjuliaparents⁠

All information for educational purposes only.⁠

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