LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The story of a 32-year-old mother from Massachusetts who allegedly killed her three children before attempting to take her own life has launched a discussion about postpartum depression.
The tragic situation has many mothers sharing their experience with the disorder on social media.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize that all the hormones that go up, up, up, up when we get pregnant; they come down after we deliver. Those first couple of weeks, it’s kind of those hormones sorting out,” said Kersten Kimmerly, a board member of Postpartum International’s Michigan Chapter.
Mothers aren’t the only ones who can struggle with the disorder. Kimmerly said new parents should visit a doctor if they experience symptoms of depression or unwanted thoughts.
According to experts, postpartum depression affects one in eight mothers.
“It’s often times going to be in a very different realm. The thoughts and the ideas. The thoughts distortions. It’s going to be, maybe my kids will be better off without me. Maybe my kids would be safer from this world if they weren’t in it,” Kimmerly said.
According to Women’s Mental Health, new parents can experience a handful of postpartum disorders, such as postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and psychosis.
Psychosis is the most rare, affecting one or two of every thousand new mothers.
“This does not make them a bad mom … this is not a bad parent thing. This is not a label, this is not a judgment, there is no shame, there is no blame. Sometimes it’s what’s going on in our brain chemistry, sometimes it’s the stressors going on in our lives,” Kimmerly said.