Forthcoming Doc ‘WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS’ Takes an Honest Look at Postpartum Depression

There are a lot of things people don’t tell you when you’re getting ready to have a baby.

Not exactly the star of the baby shower.

It’s understandable: amidst all the cutesy excitement surrounding the birth of a new baby, everyone would much rather focus on wee cotton onesies than prepare themselves for the very real possibility of dealing with postpartum depression (PPD). Despite the fact that one out of every seven new moms experiences some sort of PPD, modern mothers—those bona fide experts on breastfeeding, babywearing, and cloth diapering—are often woefully undereducated when it comes to this common and very serious mental illness. The stigma surrounding PPD is often more intense than with other forms of mental illness (anything other than unbridled postpartum joy can be judged by others as the mark of a bad mom), but luckily for all mothers and mothers-to-be, a trio of filmmakers is hoping to change that.

Filmmakers Tanya Newbould, Lindsay Gerszt, and Jamielyn Lippman have teamed up on the forthcoming documentary When the Bough Breaks, an "honest look at the lives of women who have or had postpartum depression." All three are mothers, and two have had firsthand experience with shame and confusion surrounding PPD. When Lippman was interviewing Newbould for a separate project, a chance conversation about motherhood and PPD inspired both to collaborate on a film to bring the illness further into the spotlight. Gerszt joined the team later—an interviewee turned producer who still struggles with the effects of her PPD.

With the fundraising site for their film up and running, Newbould, Gerszt, and Lippman have finished shooting and are currently moving into post-production. They hope to release When the Bough Breaks in early 2015.

“I hope this documentary shows women that postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of and you need to speak up and ask for help,” said Lippman. “One of the women in our film said something that really sticks with me: ‘It's amazing when you share how many stories you will hear back.’”

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