Sylvia Lasalandra, courageous and philanthropic author, advocate and mother has republished her best-selling book, A Daughter’s Touch in Spanish. With few to no books offering personal accounts of postpartum depression to a growing and underserved population of Spanish speaking mothers, Lasalandra has created a vital and ground breaking contribution.
PPD researchers have published numerous studies lamenting lack of access to informational resources for high risk populations, yet the paucity of such materials remains a major barrier to awareness, detection and treatment in Latino communities. Sylvia’s book brings a crucial resource to this empty shelf.
Dr. Manual Alvarez, Managing Health Editor, FOX NEWS and Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center says: “Sylvia has given the Spanish speaking people a great gift; her willingness to share her journey through postpartum depression demonstrates her unwavering desire for every woman to know that you don’t have to bear this affliction all alone, and that you have to hang on to your loved ones because they play such an important role in winning the battle against PPD. Sylvia – you have such a big heart – you are truly special.”
Websites like Postpartum Support International, Perinatal Pro, The National Hispanic Alliance, MediSpin and others have tried to bridge this gap with basic information, brochures and local resource listings for Spanish speaking populations. CBS was the first major network to address the issue of untreated maternal depression in Latino populations when its CBS Cares Team a Spanish-spoken public service announcement about postpartum depression.
But what was still missing was a book with emphasis on familismo, detailing both the importance of the family in helping a mother recover and the devastation that can be caused within the family unit if appropriate treatment is not received. This book offers a mother’s personal account of what PPD feels like, looks like and how family unity can provide the foundation that begins recovery. A Daughter’s Touch.. in Spanish OR English…is the personal story that can light the spark of initial awareness and lead to life saving treatment.
Sylvia, who has traveled the country promoting national legislation along with Mary Jo Codey, Brooke Shields and others, is insistently committed to education, awareness and intervention. Some of her travels have brought her to economically disadvantaged Latina communities where she was appalled by the lack of resources.
Her response was to have her award winning book, A Daughter’s Touch, updated, translated into Spanish and republished specifically to offer Latina mothers a story that brings recognition, awareness and understanding to themselves and their families.
Sylvia herself is an unforgettable woman, easily connecting to others and and leaving the indelible message that past ignorance and stigma once associated will no longer be tolerated. As a presenter, she initially disarms and charms an audience with her engaging sense of warmth and humor. But the room goes silent as she reveals the heartbreaking experience that followed the birth of her precious Melina.
Reading or listening, past moments of hopeless despair, maternal doubt and agonizing longing for the promise of maternal joy that eludes suffering mothers are powerfully conveyed. The ultimate effect is to recruit her reader or listener into her mission of maternal mental health.
Perhaps for an actress it is gratifying to portray a tragic figure to a standing ovation. But a mother’s revelation of her maternal anguish to the world in an attempt to spare others her fate is a committed life sentence for only the bravest. No standing ovation is recompense for exposure that lays bare a mother’s soul.
Sylvia has donated hundreds of books when budgets couldn’t stretch and has never turned down an invitation to educate if she could possibly manage it. With the printing of the Spanish version of A Daughter’s Touch she extends her embrace to the Latino community.
I am sure you all know an agency, an organization, a facility, community, family or mother who would greatly benefit from Sylvia’s offering of A Daughter’s Touch in Spanish. This deeply moving resource will be eagerly shared among the new mothers for whom its encouraging comfort was meant – and who have gone far too long without such support.
Thank you Sylvia!