Here at MFM HQ, we’re glad to see there’s (finally) a growing awareness – outside mum-world – of post natal depression (or PPD – post partum depression, as it’s called in the US).
And, in recent weeks, we were particularly moved by an interview with a dad who shared the heartbreaking story of his wife’s suicide in order to encourage other mums to speak up if they were going through a difficult time in the weeks and months after giving birth.
But now a campaign by US biotech company Sage Therapeutics (which is developing a new PND drug) has come under fire for the way it’s trying to get across the message that it’s important to talk about post natal depression.
Critics have slammed the imagery – of women with a dummy in their mouth – as infantilising women and implying it’s mums’ fault there is still so much silence about PND.
They’ve also taken issue with some of the scary wording that’s being used around the campaign, too, like this:
“PPD [PND] can negatively impact your baby’s development.
“PPD can cause you distress and make it more difficult to bond with your newborn.
“When your relationship with your baby isn’t strong, it can hinder your baby’s physical, mental and emotional development.”
Here at MFM HQ, we agree that the imagery is rather unsubtle – and perhaps a tad infantilising. But it’s this wording that’s actually peeved us the most, and we have to say, on this, we totally get where the critics are coming from.
No mum going through the harsh reality of PND needs the added guilt of being told how negatively what they’re experiencing may affect their baby (trust us, she’s already blaming herself for everything already). Especially, irony of ironies, from a campaign that’s been designed to help.
On this one, we’d probably say: nice idea, shame about the execution.
What do you think?
How do these images and wording make you feel? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook
Pic: Sage Therapuetics