In the last several years, women have been opening up more about their struggles with postpartum depression, making strides in breaking the stigma that surrounds the mood disorder associated with childbirth. However, in the ’90s, when the new film A Mouthful Of Air takes place, the topic was considered taboo and often went untreated, with women battling their inner demons silently and alone. The new movie, based on the book by Amy Koppelman, highlights the dangers of untreated postpartum depression and encourages women of all ages to be aware of the signs, seek support and understand there are ways to get help. Amanda Seyfried, who stars in and produced A Mouthful Of Air, admitted that it was “so hard to get this movie made” while speaking to HollywoodLife.
“No one wanted to make this movie,” she told HollywoodLife.com in an EXCLUSIVE interview at The Cinema Society and Maven Street Media screening of the film at the Roxy Hotel on Oct. 24. “Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray, they helped us and got the money for us to make this baby. And I just can’t believe it is here. I can talk about it for 8 years.”
Amanda, who attended the special screening with her mom, revealed that she has “watched seen this movie a lot more than most movies” she’s in. “I think I’ve seen the ending like 30 times? There’s a lot of things we were trying to say, and it’s the puzzle. Movies are always a puzzle, especially a movie like this…We want people to feel like they’re coming away with some feeling of longing and a clear mind,” she explained.
A Mouthful Of Air follows Amanda as Julie Davis, a young children’s book author and illustrator whose lifelong struggle with depression and anxiety worsens after giving birth. She battles with the decision to continue medication throughout her second pregnancy, and then again when deciding whether to breastfeed her child. Throughout the moving, heartbreaking story, viewers can’t help but clench their teeth and swallow the lumps in their throats as Julie plasters on a smile that attempts to hide her debilitating fear, dread and shame. Julie’s story is one of millions — and it’s not something that can be swept under the rug any longer.
Postpartum depression occurs in 1 in 7 women, with approximately 70% to 80% of all women who give birth with experience will at a minimum, the ‘baby blues,’ according to a recent study. Luckily, there are now extensive resources available to help overcome these feelings, but it’s learning about them and creating movies like A Mouthful Of Air that helps spread awareness.
“It’s important to understand what it might feel like and being aware of how you would feel, if you can, with the lack of sleep, hormone dumps and the pain. I think there are signs that you have to be very, very aware of and make sure your loved ones are very aware of it, too,” Amanda advised young women who are concerned about postpartum depression. “I also think this is why I love social media, because there are groups of people that come together on there and can talk about what you’re going through in a way that you had to look so much harder to find before it came along. I feel like it’s a lot easier to find your tribe and anything that you really want on there.”
She continued, “We fear. We fear. Nothing can keep you from being fearless. But, the information and finding people who are suffering the same thing, have similar struggles always seems to help me I really do think voices and action can really change the narrative and break the stigma.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from postpartum depression, call the PSI HelpLine at 1-800-944-4773 or visit postpartum.net.