All About Babies

New Film Takes a Hard Look at the Stigma Surrounding Postpartum Depression

A new star-studded documentary sheds light on this serious, scary, and often misunderstood condition.

when the bough breaks movie Point of View Pictures/YouTube
One in five new mothers will suffer from postpartum depression, or a perinatal mood disorder. In severe cases, women can develop psychosis, even becoming suicidal, or end up taking the life of their infant. It's because of these sobering statistics and stories that actress Tanya Newbould, along with Jamielyn Lippman and Lindsay Gerszt, felt compelled to reach out to new moms via their feature-length documentary film, When the Bough Breaks.

"How do we help these women from going through this?" the filmmakers want to know. This bold, honest film, which features Carnie Wilson among others, and is executive produced and narrated by Brooke Shields, is their answer.

By sharing stories of women who suffered from postpartum depression, this film aims to open a dialogue about a mental illness that carries along with it a serious stigma. There's plenty of shame, fear, and guilt, but not enough help for new moms. The filmmakers hope that by raising awareness about the prevalence of these mood disorders, they can help new moms get the support they need, and may ultimately save a life.

Watch the powerful trailer:

When the Bough Breaks will have its world premiere at Dances With Films Festival on Wednesday, June 8 at 2:45PM at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. If you can't make it, visit the film's website and follow its Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on potential future screenings.

Whether you ultimately get to see the movie or not, please know you aren't alone if you are struggling with postpartum depression. You probably know plenty of mothers who understand how you feel and just don't talk about it.

Thankfully the stigma surrounding the disorder is lifting somewhat. Celebrities like Hayden Panettiere are opening up about their experiences with it. And the more star moms who talk about postpartum depression, and with films like When the Bough Breaks shedding light on this very common problem, hopefully sufferers will realize there's light at the end of their dark tunnel.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.