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The Perfect Gift for Expectant Moms, New Moms, and Moms of Littles. Mamas- don't forget to put RATTLED on your Baby Registry.

Rattled Book Cover


Not Yet Published


  • ISBN: 978-1-68268-830-4

  • 240 pages


How to Calm New Mom Anxiety with the Power of the Postpartum Brain

Published by Countryman Press

by Nicole Pensak (Author)

Chatter for new mothers, this reassuring and practical handbook helps women navigate the seismic changes—in identity and emotion—that motherhood brings.

Becoming a mother is one of the biggest changes a woman can experience. According to Harvard- and Yale-trained psychologist Dr. Nicole Pensak, it’s completely normal for a new mom to feel unlike herself, physically and psychologically different—to feel “rattled.” In fact, research shows that a woman’s brain shifts in real, biological ways very quickly. There are, however, also boosts in brainpower that can help to manage the distress and harness the advantages of the postpartum brain. In Rattled, Dr. Pensak draws on her own experiences and insights gleaned from her clinical practice to provide practical and emotional support for new moms, helping to relieve the anxiety and pressure for perfection in motherhood. She discusses mental health treatment and the many changes a mother undergoes, and offers accessible scientific information, relatable anecdotes, and strategies for self-care. An important book for new mothers and their families.

Nicole Pensak

Nicole Amoyal Pensak, PhD, is a nationally recognized licensed clinical psychologist certified in Perinatal Mental Health, specializing in anxiety, depression, and OCD treatment. She trained at the Yale School of Medicine, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, and currently owns a private practice based in Monmouth, New Jersey.

Nicole Amoyal Pensak, PhD

The Reviews Are In ...
Praise for RATTLED

“Becoming a new mother can be extremely overwhelming, and it can lead to increased mental stress. Dr. Pensak has done an exceptional job in examining the ins and out of maternal mental health and providing practical and accessible evidence-based knowledge and strategies for new parents.”

- Eve Rodsky, best-selling author of Fair Play 


“Nicole Pensak’s book is the essential item for new moms, included in baby showers and gifted from one tired mama to another. Thank goodness she is here to help and look out for all of us!” 

- Zibby Owens, host of Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books


“Our children are precious—and so are their mothers. This extraordinarily helpful book provides fresh insights and many practical suggestions for those crucially important first years. Dr. Pensak is brilliant, funny, blunt, honest about her own experiences, and endlessly kind and supportive. In our turbulent days—and when the so-called village it takes to raise a child often looks more like a ghost town—we need her guidance more than ever.”

- Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Mother Nurture and Buddha’s Brain


“Nicole Pensak's Rattled answers so many of the questions my wife and I had about how motherhood changes, influences, and shapes new moms. Pensak is the perfect guide on this journey, enriching Rattled with her experiences as an author, researcher, scientist, therapist—and, of course, mom—trained in post-partum therapy, anxiety, and depression. Highly recommended!”

- Adam Alter, New York Times Bestselling Author of Anatomy of a Breakthrough and Irresistible


“In this incredibly supportive and practical resource , Rattled  guides new mothers through the power and peril of matrescense, the developmental stage of motherhood . Through a blend of rigorous science and personal anecdotes, Dr. Pensak offers compelling new and alternative explanations for our anxieties and perceived inadequacies while artfully connecting us with a concrete and hopeful path forward.”

- Jamie Jacobs, PhD, Director of Caregiving Research, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School 


"Rattled is a must read for all mothers. Dr. Pensak seamlessly blends science and practical strategies that finally changes the narrative around “mommy brain”. Eloquently capturing the true wonder of the mother’s brain, Dr. Pensak brings much needed attention and clarity to the physiological and psychological changes that occur over the course of a mother’s development and shares tangible strategies/easy to use tools to empower mothers through their own evolution (and protect their mental health). Dr. Pensak is funny, raw, and inviting, sharing her own unique journey into the chaotic and beautiful world of motherhood. Thank you, Dr. Pensak for helping us as mothers’ feel seen during this time of profound transformation and for giving us the tools to “up the ante” and thrive. 


Rattled has instantly reached the top of my list of recommendations for all moms I work with. I can’t wait to recommend to my patients, family and friends."

- Elizabeth Reichert, Ph.D.  Associate Clinical Professor, Co-Director, Stanford Parenting Center, Stanford Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 

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