Jennifer Lopez recently discussed the issue of Postpartum depression in the upcoming edition of Redbook. Motherhood is an event that eclipses all other roles that a women play. J. Lo's frank discussion of 'baby blues' was refreshing and segues nicely into her upcoming role in the movie "What To Expect When You're Expecting". The movie is based on the book, that is a constant gift to all new parents.
As an father, even I read an edition of "What to Expect..." many years ago. However, as an author of a curative book on overcoming depression, I found Jennifer Lopez's interview particularly interesting. I have not yet addressed a book directly dealing with Postpartum depression, mainly because I feel distinctly unqualified as a man. However, the subject still interests me because of my constant interaction with new mothers and the pressure women face during child-rearing.
The June issue of Redbook reports Lopez, 42, discussion about postpartum:
"I remember after the babies were born, about seven to 10 days in, I was like, 'What is going on with me?' I felt sad and depressed and thought the babies didn't love me."
It was from this point of self-analysis that Jennifer picked up the perennial favorite — What to Expect When You're Expecting written by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel — and perhaps this was the reason for her staring role in the June Movie by the same title.
"I actually remember picking up the book to try to see what was happening to me," Jennifer reports in the Redbook article. "And it said how you have this huge hormonal drop about seven to 10 days after you give birth. It's called the 'baby blues.' But I just thought they didn't like me!"
The point for me as an author is that depression of any kind makes a person inquisitive. People don't like the feeling of depression, but one very beneficial component is that it makes us more considerate and serious about the issues of life. It puts people into a 'problem solving mode that is very useful.
So, depression - postpartum - or otherwise is not an illness at a basic level. It is a normal and useful human process. It is only when the depression over-runs the identity of the person that it becomes an unhealthy pathology.
The difference is very important for the confidence of a person. This five-minute video narration of Depression Symptoms Decodedexplains the universal nature of depression and its benefit in problem solving.
The importance of problem solving will often make women retreat from all the commotion of child rearing. As Lopez humorously admitted:
"My sanctuary is my bathtub. That's really the only time I get to myself. It's usually around 15 or 20 minutes, but for me, those minutes are like heaven on earth. Sometimes I even say a little prayer while I'm in there. I'm like, 'Lord, help me get through this day!'"
This bathroom retreat is so common to women that it is a common laugh among mothers, and they even share tips on how to maximize the 'bathroom escape' route.
However, a very important healing process is occurring when a woman can find a few minutes of escape. As Lopez pointed out, it allows for a few minutes of regrouping, problem solving and strengthening. Women are fast thinkers and a pause in the day will often reveal great benefits to the entire family structure. Those minutes become golden.
Furthermore the pressures of motherhood never retreat. Jennifer is such an honest speaking woman. Her advice for women continues in the Redbook interview:
"There's a constant worry that comes along with being a parent. It never goes away. I'm sure women who don't have kids have a more carefree attitude about life. I think all women ask themselves, 'Can I really do all of this?' But for me the rewards are so great, and that love you feel for them is so fulfilling — even when they're driving you nuts! ... When kids enter the picture, it's like you keep moving into another level. Kids open your heart and your soul in a different way. It changes you as a person."
As an author, I find great pleasure when my books give hope, peace or enjoyment to others. The parenting book What To Expect When You're Expecting, must have given great enjoyment to Jennifer, as she took the part of the upcoming moving by the same name (though the synopsis of the movie is vastly different than the breezy information found in the book's pages)
IMBD describes the upcoming movie featuring Jennifer Lopez as,
"Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING is a hilarious and heartfelt big screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood. Over the moon about starting a family, TV fitness guru Jules and dance show star Evan find that their high-octane celebrity lives don't stand a chance against the surprise demands of pregnancy. Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy gets a taste of her own militant mommy advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body; while Wendy's husband, Gary, struggles not to be outdone by his competitive alpha-Dad, who's expecting twins with his much younger trophy wife, Skyler. Photographer Holly is prepared to travel the globe to adopt a child, but her husband Alex isn't so sure, and tries to quiet his panic by attending a "dudes" support group... Written by Lionsgate"
A great deal of research should go into Postpartum studies. It is important that celebrities and key women of importance bring this common behavior of motherhood to the forefront. It was refreshing reading the frank admissions of a mother as successful as Jennifer Lopez.