Sylvia Lasalandra is a successful businesswoman, author, and most importantly, a wife and mother to beautiful Melina. She is also a survivor of postpartum depression. After suffering with ppd, Sylvia has become a passionate advocate for women, offering encouragement and inspiration to the thousands who suffer from postpartum depression each year. Her mission is to take away the shame by bringing a human face to a debilitating and misunderstood disease.

In 2005 Lasalandra published her book, A Daughter’s Touch: One Woman’s Journey Through Postpartum Depression, “an alternately agonizing and hilarious journey” through her ordeal from total desperation to uplifting recovery. It tells the story of her near-fatal struggle with postpartum depression, detailing the harrowing frustration she experienced with doctors, psychiatrists, and agencies, as she fought for her life and that of her child. To further spread her message, she directed and starred in a short film based on the book that captured the “Best Short Drama” and “Best Direction” awards at the 2005 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. Lasalandra has since adapted her book into a full-length screenplay to be made into a feature film.

Recalling her experience with postpartum depression, Mrs. Lasalandra says; “After I had Melina, I couldn’t have been less interested. On our way home from the hospital, I wouldn’t even look back at her in the car. When we got to our house, I just ran upstairs, shut the door to my room, and cried. These feelings — that everyone said would pass — continued for weeks and then months. I went to psychiatrists and told them that the feelings were getting stronger and stronger and I couldn’t fight them.”

Mrs. Lasalandra, partnering with fellow postpartum depression survivor, New Jersey First Lady, Mary Jo Codey, championed the groundbreaking New Jersey Postpartum Depression Screening Bill as part of an overhaul of the state’s mental-illness guidelines. Successfully passed into law in April 2006, it allocates $4.5 million to help healthcare professionals educate expectant parents about postpartum depression and provide screening for symptoms after delivery. It is the first legislation ever enacted in the United States to help fight postpartum depression.

In May of 2007, Mrs. Lasalandra took her commitment to helping eliminate the stigma that is attached to postpartum depression to Washington, D.C., where she spoke at a United States Senate press conference to support the proposed federal MOTHERS Act, aimed at increasing research, education, and awareness about postpartum depression. Former New Jersey First Lady, Mary Jo Codey said; “There was not a dry eye in the room after she spoke.”

Mrs. Lasalandra currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Postpartum Support International (PSI) and as Legislative Director for Perinatal Pro. Com. She is also a successful restaurateur in New Jersey and a summa cum laude graduate of William Paterson University. Mrs. Lasalandra lives in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, with her husband Michael and beautiful daughter Melina.