In a recent article published by the Associated Press, details of a 1957 death came to light. 76-year-old Ruby Klokow is accused of murdering of her 6-month-old daughter after her adult son reveals grim childhood stories of abuse at her hands. He had been silent all these years; he thought all children were abused, according to the AP article. The infant had died of brain injury, and authorities at the time ruled it accidental when Klokow claimed her baby had fallen from the couch. Fifty years later she admits to angrily throwing the child to the couch, where she bounced to the floor, according to District Attorney Joe DeCecco. Klokow had another infant, a boy named Scott, who had died. His death is not considered suspicious.
In other AP news, a NY mother jumps 8 stories with her 10-month-old baby in her arms. She died, but her infant child survived. He is listed, as AP reports, in critical but stable condition. The mother was well educated, married, and a mature 45-years-old.
Could these be cases of undiagnosed postpartum depression? It is difficult to imagine a mother killing her own child, or attempting a murder suicide. The U.S. National Library of Medicine describes postpartum depression as a moderate to severe disorder that can occur right after a birth and up to a year later. Among the listed symptoms include:
Thoughts of death or suicide...[and] Have negative feelings toward the baby or even think about harming the baby (Although these feelings are scary, they are almost never acted on. Still you should tell your doctor about them right away.)
Not all women experience these thoughts during postpartum depression, but they do happen. The thoughts do not make a mother evil; they are symptoms of something else going on and require treatment.
Suggested read: Depression help: Why seeking help is important to mothers
It is important for mothers who feel they are experiencing postpartum depression to reach out and get the help they need.
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