No Apologies: Author and style consultant Yalda Kazemi thriving post postpartum

When Yalda Kazemi gave birth to her son in 2013, she expected to feel joy, love and connection. But in the hours and weeks that followed, she felt nothing. She cried a lot and felt panicky, especially when breastfeeding wasn’t going well. Kazemi’s depression worsened until, one day while on vacation in Mexico with her family, she had a disturbing thought: “You need to kill your son.” 

Her little boy was six months old and, though she was terrified by the thought, it wasn’t the last time it crossed her mind. “Shortly after our vacation, I was changing my son at my mom’s house, and I had that thought again. I lifted my leg to crush his skull and suddenly snapped out of it.” She was terrified of losing her son but knew she must act selflessly to save his life – and improve her wellbeing. “I called my mom, begged her to take him from me and to take me to the hospital.”

That marked the beginning of Kazemi’s lengthy treatment for anxiety, depression and psychosis. After spending three weeks in a psychiatric ward, getting onto an effective medication plan and taking another two years to fully regain her sense of self, the 38-year-old now lives free of both symptoms and medication. 

Now, she’s sharing her harrowing story with others, in the hopes of raising awareness and supporting the many women facing postpartum depression. Kazemi recently self-published a book called Unapologetic Truths: The Realities of Postpartum We Don’t Talk About. The book is “part memoir and part survival guide”, and infused with practical tips and advice for women experiencing postpartum mental health problems or, as she says, anyone struggling with anxiety or depression. “I hope this book helps somebody, that it saves a life or makes the recovery process easier,” she says. “I want my story to give them the courage to stand up and ask for help.”

While writing her book over the past year, Kazemi made sure to also include a chapter for support people. She knows from experience that good intentions don’t always translate well. “As much as people want to be there, they can feel helpless and don’t know what to do,” she says. “Sometimes I was made to feel like I did or thought something wrong that made me get sick. I want to educate people so they’re more empathetic and understanding.”

Dr. Amane Abdul-Razzak, one of four doctors who reviewed the book for accuracy and feedback before publication, says Kazemi hit the mark. As Abdul-Razzak wrote in her review, “This book is a courageous account of what it is like to experience severe postpartum illness and gives hope and a roadmap back to health. It goes beyond describing the experience and gives specific, actionable strategies for people experiencing the illness, as well as the people supporting them.” 

Aside from helping people with her book, Kazemi is an entrepreneur dedicated to supporting women in another way – as a style and wellness consultant. After working for nearly 10 years in human resources and then recovering from her mental illness, Kazemi decided to pursue her love for fashion. She launched stylEsteem in 2018, a venture that allows her to merge style with mental health. 

Whether she’s doing personal styling, editorial work or corporate presentations, her focus is on using style to help people feel happy, confident and productive.

Her journey is proof enough that dressing well can boost your mood. “When I was sick, my mom would say, ‘Get out of those sweatpants and put on some makeup.’ I realized it did help, and my mom was onto something,” she says. “When your mind feels like it’s out of control, what you wear is something you can control. I used that strategy to get me out of anxiety and depression, and now I want to help other women look good and feel confident.”

Though her styling work has slowed due to the pandemic, Kazemi expects demand to pick up as the world slowly reopens. In the meantime, she’s spending time with her family and eager to share Unapologetic Truths. “I’d love to get it into as many hands as possible,” she says, “and be a voice for people who are suffering in silence.”

Head to to learn more about the book and where to buy a copy.