Our society needs a new, objective view to demystify the idealised image of motherhood. People need to acknowledge that the time before and after childbirth is a period of drastic physical, emotional and social change for any woman. Although children undoubtedly enrich our lives, the changes they cause are considerable. A balanced view of motherhood that takes both sides equally into account can help women cope better with postpartum crises. They will be more prepared to speak out openly about their problems and ask for help. And finally, the media image of a “super mum” – the always perfect, ever-present, all-sacrificing mother who has no needs of her own or any negative feelings – must be released from its overly tight corset of expectations.

Affected women time and again call for prenatal information and improved aftercare focusing mainly on the mother’s mind, mood and feelings. Compared with Anglo-American countries, which provide special aftercare examinations, research groups, training, support centres, associations, self-help groups and psychiatric mother-and-child-units on a large scale, Germany is a “developing country” in this regard with insufficient help for women suffering from PPD or PPP. The objective of this association is to improve the situation in Germany.


Gurgeln, murmeln, zurgeln So unbeschreiblich Unfassbar Ein Wesen kommt Ist eingeladen – will leben hier Auf dieser Welt.

Im Bauch da wohnt es Wohl beschützt Der Mutter nah, ja doch so fern Und gurgelt, murmelt, zurgelt.

Es kennt die Stimmen, kennt die Hände. Es weiß, es träumt, es lebt.

So unbeschreiblich Unfassbar Wenn leben kommt auf diese Welt.

Anna Baumhof

Schatten & Licht therefore supports experts in various disciplines with their research or theses with information, surveys and organising interviews with women participating in self-help groups. An anonymous questionnaire that the association sends off to affected women helps to extend existing knowledge (see Postpartum disorder questionnaire).

The association’s mailing list of women previously affected makes it possible to conduct medical interviews on the subject.
Schatten & Licht offers lectures and further training for both the public as well as for experts in various disciplines.

The association is publicising the complex issue of peripartal illness via information stands at various events (self-help meetings, midwife congresses, medical conferences, health and baby shows), PR work (Internet, articles in newspapers and magazines, radio and TV features) and posters and banners in order to increase understanding of the topic and thereby gain more social and financial support as well as improvements in health care policy for affected mothers in the long term. We want to break the taboo of postpartum mental disorders for mothers, to release them from their isolation, so that they can turn to the numerous support opportunities and recover from the disorders.

We need your support in this work. Become a member (see Membership application form) so that now and in the future we can offer your wife, mother, friend and daughter a light at the end of the tunnel!