Many talk about the joys of becoming a new mother. But for some women, it can be a very difficult, dark time.
Often times, the topic of postpartum depression is not talked about. Maureen Provenzale, who once suffered from postpartum depression, hopes people can become more aware of it.
She was hospitalized for postpartum depression and treated for what she says was a "true chemical imbalance."
It took her time before she realized she needed help.
"I sat on the couch and I stared at the wall, and had the baby sitting on the floor," she said. "I was thinking about getting in the car, [thinking] ‘I'm just going to go away. He'll be better with someone else,’” Provenzale explained.
Provenzale spoke with NBC 7 while attending a conference at the Marriott Hotel in Mission Valley. It was the 29th annual conference of Postpartum Support International (PSI).
"Women are expected to be happy, especially if they have had a normal baby, especially if things have gone well,” PSI president Ann Smith said. “There is a certain degree of stigma about admitting to feeling that badly."
One goal of PSI is to make people more aware of a mental illness that impacts so many women.
"It needs to be talked about early on in pregnancy," Provenzale added.
For information about postpartum depression or for support, call PSI at (800) 944-4773. There’s also a great deal of information about postpartum depression in the documentary, “When the Bough Breaks,” which is narrated by actress Brooke Shields.