The Tale of Openly Discussing PPD


Once Upon a Time, In Bethesda, Maryland

Lately, I have been having wonderful luck finding denim for my husband on RueLaLa. I am nothing but grateful for the ease of it, though admittedly it is a two-step process. A thumbs up from Bob leads us right to the tailor for a quickie hem. So on Saturday, we added Bethesda alterations to our “list” and off we went. He got pinned while I felt the glow of my stylist superpower. And that felt good. 

But what came next was unexpected and trumped any old buying jeans that make my husband’s tush look cute talent – as in any day, any year any, any old any!

The woman who worked in the store asked about the purchase and confided in me that she does not have good luck on RueLaLa with anything but clothes for her daughter. Daughter? I did not know about this daughter. WOW – so pre-pandemic she was studying psychology at UMBC, working for her mother and was reliably as affable as can be. 

And now, she has added Mama to her identity and she was so incredibly proud of her pandemic baby. She was quick to tell, UNPROVOKED, that she struggled with PPD. That she understood and recognized her symptoms. She was so grateful that she lived with her parents who provided endless support and nurturance. Now, she shared, she was doing much better with an 18 month old daughter than she was for the first few months.

UNEXPECTED — all of it


There are so very many dedicated to opening the understanding and communication around PPD. The goal is to help this spectrum of challenges openly make its way into our dialog. Not hidden, not as an embarrassment, not with shame. Simply, a part of motherhood for a percentage of the new mother population.

For my part, I ask, I listen, I write and I am open. I am currently finishing an article for HBR on first-time working mothers and PPD. 

But that is something I do via interview. A conversation by appointment. This, this unexpected candor made my day. It is a reminder that we will keep speaking our truth. And by doing so, we will bring the entire topic into the big brave world.