By: Kaitlin Heidt, Graduate Social Work Intern, Jewish Fertility Foundation
We managed to grab a quick word with clinical psychologist, Dr. Linda Stamm, author of four published children’s books. Dr. Stamm broke into the literary scene with her relatable and readable children’s book, Phoebe’s Family, which is geared toward 7 - 11 year olds to help parents who experienced challenges with fertility and then struggled with explaining the process to their children.
These books are used by infertility therapists Dr. Lauren Berman and Elana Klemm, LPC, NCC. Dr. Berman shares that “I find that these books are really helpful with validating the intense emotions people feel around infertility”, and she refers these books in the resource list she provides to couples experiencing infertility challenges at the end of counseling sessions. Elana Klemm feels similarly about Dr. Stamm’s books and explains that they are always a favorite in her support group for women. Klemm shares that “the illustrations are amazing and I like to share various books relevant to topics of egg and sperm donation.”
And onto our interview with Dr. Stamm...
How did you come about the decision to begin writing your 1st book?
Based on my experience, I felt there were very few books written on fertility and I felt the need to help parents who experienced challenges with fertility and then struggled with explaining the process to their children of how they came to be. I decided to write books that would give parents guidance in opening up a conversation with their child. Even if children do not actually read the story, they look at the story for pictures. Pictures can serve as a language for telling the story to children.
What is a takeaway that you want readers to have?
I want parents to feel comfortable in talking to their children about the process of how they were born. I believe this is an important discussion to have earlier on with children. These books are meant to help children understand that each family is wonderfully unique, and every child has their own journey of how they come into this world.
What was the first book you wrote?
I wrote Phoebe’s Family, which was geared toward 7 - 11 year olds. Phoebe learns about the challenges her parents faced in trying to have a baby. Her parents then discuss how egg donation brought Phoebe into the world and created a loving family.
What other books have you written?
Harry’s Helper is told through the eyes of a young boy name Harry. The story focuses on the use of gestational carrier in order to have a second child. Family Stew is about two moms who speak with their daughter in regards to becoming a family with the use of a sperm donor. Scarlett’s Story is a story of how Scarlett came into the world through embryo donation.
Do you have a particular favorite out of all of the books you have written?
I would say Phoebe’s Family. It was a breakthrough for me to open up my creativity. I could make characters come to life and resemble the realities of families. This allowed me to help individuals, couples, and groups who wondered how to approach the topic of assisted reproduction.
Are you working on any follow-up books at the moment?
I am excited to say that I have two books that should come out this year by late winter. Ruby and Mommy tells the story of a single-mother and Family Stew for Men tells the story of two married men.
About Dr. Linda Stamm:
Dr. Stamm received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University and owned a private practice in Atlanta specializing in infertility, pregnancy, perinatal loss, and postpartum period. Dr. Stamm volunteers as a Fertility Buddy with the Jewish Fertility Foundation’s Fertility Buddy program. http://lindastamm.com