I recently sat down and watched When The Bough Breaks. A documentary about postpartum depression and mood disorders. Being a doula and having taken a class on postpartum mood disorders I consider myself pretty educated on the subject. But after watching this documentary it made me realize there is still so much that I don't know. Seeing women and families first hand speak of what they went through and what they are going through still, was so eye opening and so heart wrenching. These brave women bear their souls in an effort to normalize postpartum mood disorders and to encourage others to seek help. 15-20 percent of women suffer from some level of PPMD in the first year after birth. And that's only the documented cases. That is a HUGE number. PPMD are treatable and preventable if you know what to look for and how to reach out for help. I encourage everyone to watch this documentary in order educate yourselves. So that you can help someone going through it or offer sympathy and empathy to someone who you might not have understood before. If you've dealt with a PPMD yourself, this film can offer solace. If you are currently suffering, you are not alone. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
I reached out to Lindsay, the Executive Producer of them film, so that she could talk a little bit more about the films purpose and her hopes for it's impact. Please give her interview a read and then check out the documentary. It can quite literally save lives.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and give a summery of When the Bough Breaks?
Hello! My name is Lindsay Gerszt. I am one of the producers and executive producer of When The Bough Breaks- a documentary about postpartum depression. The film is also Narrated and Executive Produced by Brooke Shields. It is a shocking film that uncovers this very public health issue which affects one in five new mothers after childbirth. I agreed to let the cameras follow my story and journey to recovery. We also meet women who have committed infanticide and families who have lost loved ones to suicide.
Babies are dying, women aren't speaking out and the signs are being missed. When The Bough Breaks takes us on a journey to find answers and break the silence. This film also features stories from singer Carnie Wilson, actress Tanya Newbould, celebrity chef Aarti Sequeira and Peggy Tanous of The Real Housewives of Orange County
What is one thing you learned about postpartum mood disorders while making this film that you didn't know prior?
There is so much that I learned about postpartum mood disorders that I did not know prior to making the film. The one thing that I was truly shocked about was how many people suffer in silence because of the fear of being judged or looked down upon. Because of this, they do not get the help they so desperately need. On the films facebook page, everyday I share someone story. So many write to me and say they have not told anyone before but because they read others stories they now realize they are not alone and are ready to share their story. It is a powerful feeling for them to see the response and how many can relate. If YOU want to share your story please send it to me on our facebook page. I would love to share it!
What's the best piece of advice that you would give a new mom who's just coming into her postpartum depression?
The best advise I would give to a new mom struggling with ppd is to get help right away. Talk about it and reach out for help. There are many treatment options and when you find the right one for you, you WILL get better! Also please be kind to yourself. Having a baby in itself is so difficult. Add PPD to that and I know somedays you feel like you just cannot do it anymore. Please remember this is temporary and your child will not remember your struggle.
What's the biggest misconception society has about postpartum mood disorders?
Unless society is educated about what the different forms of postpartum mood disorders are, they will think they are all the same; which is dangerous. In fact there are many forms; ranging from the baby blues to postpartum psychosis. I suffered from postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and postpartum OCD along with ptsd from my delivery. My recovery was based on particular therapies for these disorders. On the other hand, someone experiencing postpartum psychosis can lose touch with reality and can be in serious risk of harming themselves and/or their child. Their treatment is very different from mine and if not treated properly can result in tragedy. We must understand the different disorders and help our moms find the proper treatment.
What is the main message you hope to send to those suffering from a postpartum mood disorder through this documentary?
The main message I hope to send to those suffering from postpartum mood disorders through this documentary is that there is hope. Up to 1 in 5 new mothers will experience some form of a postpartum mood disorder. With the proper treatment you will get better. When I was suffering I did not know how or when I would recover. I thought the depression would last forever; that I would never bond with my baby. I felt like it was somehow my fault that I got it and that noone would understand what I was experiencing. I remember one day after the medication started to work, I felt a sense of relief that I had not felt before. With therapy and medication I did get better and with the proper treatment so will you! Open up, share your story and educate yourself.
To someone who has a loved one going through it?
If you have a loved one who is suffering please watch When The Bough Breaks and educate yourself on postpartum mood disorders. It is so important that you show your support to them and let them know you are there for them. Postpartum depression is a very lonely illness. We feel like no one will understand what we are going through and often lose friends and push away family. Sit with them and let them know you are there even if they can't be there for you. Ask if you can help with anything; whether it is bringing food over or watching the baby so the new mother can rest. Most of all tell them you support them and are there for them. Tell them that they do not have to go through this pain alone. By doing this it may save a life.
When The Bough Breaks is available now on Netflix, Itunes and most VOD platforms in 70 countries.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a postpartum mood disorder please get help
or visit http://www.postpartum.net/
And never hesitate to reach out to me! MotherhoodTabutiful@gmail.com
Lindsay Lipton Gerszt was born and raised in Miami, Florida. In 1997, she graduated with a BA from the University of Miami, where she majored in Communication and Sociology. Because of her love for music and the arts, in 1997, she began her career in Los Angeles at Capitol Records doing A&R. In 1999, she worked at MCA records and in 2003 she worked as a music manager at The Firm. Lindsay had the pleasure of working with, managing and doing PR for some of the biggest artists in the music industry.
In 2007, she stepped back from the music industry to begin her family. It was at this stage in her life that she came face to face with postpartum depression. She has now committed herself to raising awareness for PPD, it's many faces and the path to a healthy life and family. Her commitment to PPD has included working on the important documentary...When The Bough Breaks-a documentary about postpartum depression. This work has included fundraising, producing and telling her story, along with helping other women tell their story. This work has become her passion.