Here at BabyShrink, I get emailed questions from all over the world. Many of these make it onto the site; questions about potty training, TV-watching, and poop-smearing (which is my most-read post, if you can believe it!)
But there are other questions; questions too pained and personal to be published. Questions from mothers desperate about the difficulty of having a new baby. Questions from grandmothers, worried about the dark circles under their daughter's eyes. Questions from husbands, worried that their wives (and marriages) might never be the same after the birth of their baby.
In our Lamaze class, we met several couples. You know how it is; you can't help bonding with other couples going through the same trial-by-fire. You stay in touch with some of them. Others fade away, but you always recognize each other, say "hi" at the grocery store, and ask about their child, who is the same age as yours.
There was one couple we met and really liked. But they never seemed to follow through on suggestions of get-togethers. When we ran into them, they seemed fine. But they weren't.
Quite by accident, I found out that the Mom had suffered a terrible, crushing postpartum depression after the birth of their baby. They never came to us -- knowing we were both psychologists -- and suffered alone.
I was stunned to have been so clueless about the pain they went through. Luckily, they eventually got help, and all is well now. But I never forgot about the terrible shame and hopelessness that must have driven them into silence.
I know there are many more of you out there, similarly suffering in silence. I hope that this, my first BabyShrink podcast, can help.
There are many people to thank in the launching of this podcast. Ilima Loomis, who helped me see that a podcast was the perfect vehicle for communicating with new mothers, who are alone and up with the baby at night. Heather Sanders, for my tech-support and visual flair extraordinaire, Glenn Sakamoto, my most tireless and knowledgeable supporter and designer, Danny Evans, who made BabyShrink happen, and his lovely Hot Wife, my BFF and straight-shooting reviewer. I also want to thank the women and families who have opened up the most frightening and painful chapters of their lives to me, to help me understand how best to help others.
I'm also collecting stories of recovery. If you've suffered from PPD and come through to the other side, please post a comment here to encourage others to get help....and send the message that you CAN feel better.
Note: This is a 16-minute podcast. It downloads to your player OR your computer in less than one minute, with a broadband connection.