Do Catholics talk enough about postpartum depression?

Pope Francis touches the stomach of a pregnant woman as he meets guests after a meeting with U.S. bishops in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington Sept. 23, 2015. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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This week Tim Reidy sat in for Matt Malone, S.J., alongside his co-host Kerry Weber. The podcast opens with a discussion about Girl Scouts and their relationship with the Catholic Church following the decision by the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., to cut ties with the organization. Eloise Blondiau joined the conversation to give her perspective.

Jena Booher is this episode’s guest. After being featured in Kerry Weber’s article about postpartum depression and the church, Ms. Booher joined to discuss her business, Babies on the Brain, and how her faith helped her while she was experiencing postpartum depression.

“My personality was completely changed. [But] I was still very functional and I think that is why I went undiagnosed for so long,” said Ms. Booher. Following a period of difficulty at work which began when she was pregnant, Ms. Booher decided to leave to set up her own company, which works to help employers build hospitable and supportive environments for new mothers.

On the topic of her faith, Ms. Booher drew attention to how faith communities be helpful sources of support alongside professional treatments. “I think the church overall is much more welcoming overall of someone in my situation than, frankly, [the communities of] my secular friends when it comes to mental health challenges. A lot of the hurdles I went through and some of the shame I experienced around my diagnosis I actually confided in fellow Catholics—not so much the friends I grew up with…. I felt that I would be received by this specific community and this group of people, and I was.”
 

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