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Update on Postpartum Depression Documentary:
More Than Blue
Illuminating the Faces and Voices of Postpartum Depression across America
In the summer of 2022, we announced our plans to move forward with the production of a documentary on postpartum depression, More Than Blue. A year later, we are well into production of this important film. In partnership with Director Julia Marchesi and production company Ark Media (Barak Goodman, Producer), Drs. Lee S. Cohen (Executive Producer and Producer) and Allison Baker (Producer) have been filming the stories of women and those close to them (friends, partners, colleagues) as they navigate the various aspects of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Considerable ground is covered from the varied experience of postpartum depression (PPD) to managing stigma, to facing the shifts in important relationships during pregnancy and the postpartum period, to dealing with the problems of getting access, to those with expertise in perinatal psychiatry. It is our hope that More Than Blue will catalyze a new era of understanding of PPD and the variable challenges women and families face getting access to care. We are indebted to the hundreds of courageous mothers, clinicians, and advocates from across the country who responded to our first request to share stories reflecting their individual and family journeys. Each narrative has played a key role in shaping the trajectory of the film, and we are moved and inspired by the outpouring of support for the project.
We hope many mothers with lived experience of PPD will be able to identify with the stories captured in the documentary. To do this, we wish to include the perspectives of a diverse group of women. While many interviews have been conducted, we ask for your continued support in helping us identify individuals who may be willing to participate. We are looking to include two additional women who are early on in the postpartum period (under one year) and recovering from postpartum depression. It was always our hope to capture birthing persons from across America, and we are particularly interested in connecting with postpartum women from the South, Southwest and Western states with a focus on women of color. If you or someone you know is recently postpartum and interested in learning more, please contact us through our interest form.
In addition to the sharing of personal individual stories, an important component of the documentary will be highlighting the resources available to mothers in need of support and treatment during such a critical point in their lives. Whether virtual or in-person, support groups remain one of the most valuable resources, and as such we are grateful for the opportunity to feature the First Connections New Mothers group based in Massachusetts as part of the movie. We hope that capturing the candid discussion of the struggles and joys of new motherhood and the postpartum experience will break down walls of shame and isolation which many women describe as we reassure these persons that they are not alone.
The film is expected to be completed in 2024. We very much look forward to sharing more details with you in the months to come.
Lee S. Cohen, M.D.
Director, Center for Women’s Mental Health, Mass General Hospital
Executive Producer, More Than Blue
Allison Baker, M.D.
Producer, More Than Blue
Director, More Than Blue
Senior Producer, More Than Blue
Associate Producer, More Than Blue