SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Parenting expert and journalist Donna Tetreault speaks with ABC4’s Emily Clark and director and writer, Amy Koppelman on this week’s Kids Under Construction. Koppelman’s latest film, “A Mouthful of Air,” is showing in select theaters now.
The film explores the tough, yet common journey of experiencing postpartum depression and is based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Koppelman wrote the novel after experiencing postpartum depression herself, following the birth of her two children.
“We talk about postpartum depression and one out of every five women have postpartum depression, which can happen to you even if you’ve never had any kind of depression before,” says Koppelman.
Koppelman recalls the fear she felt, not only as a first-time mother, but also the overwhelming idea of keeping a young baby alive.
“It’s just very, very, scary,” says Koppelman. “I think we don’t talk about that enough. I think we’re still reticent to talk about how scared we are and how unprepared we feel to be a mom.”
Koppelman says the feeling of shame around postpartum thoughts should be eliminated and conversations about the topic need to be widened and normalized. As new mothers, it’s easy to get caught up worrying over your baby’s health, but it’s important to check in with your own mental health, as well.
“If we stopped to say, ‘How are you feeling?’ or ‘How are you doing?’ and that can become a question from mother to mother that we can compare notes on and not just potty training,” says Koppelman.
Koppelman remembers feeling inspired to write the novel hoping it could be of comfort and education to other new mothers.
‘If I can try to reach even one person, actually help even one woman and know that the best thing she could do for her children is to get help and to get better, to not take her life. — that’s all we could possibly hope for,” says Koppelman.
To check out the full conversation, watch the video above.