There’s speculation by some that Shanynthia Gardner, charged in the murder of four of her children, may be suffering from postpartum depression or psychosis.
Gardner is accused of stabbing her children to death Friday at the Greens of Irene complex. Tallen (4), Sya (3), Sahvi (2), and Yahzi (6 months) all died.
Amelia Tummalapalli owns Memphis Family Doulas. A doula is a person who helps expecting mothers before and after their pregnancy. Their job is to give mothers educational, emotional, and physical support.
It’s unclear at this point why Gardner apparently did what she did. Tummalapalli talked to us about postpartum depression and psychosis.
“Postpartum depression is a very serious condition. And likewise postpartum psychosis is even more serious,” says Tummalapalli. “We don’t know why she did this, what could possibly be wrong with her. That’s something a doctor is going to have to identify.”
Amelia Tummalapalli isn’t a doctor. She’s a caregiver who supports new mothers. And while we don’t know if Gardner suffered from postpartum depression, it is possible.
Postpartum depression is something that can happen between the time the mom gives birth until a year after,” says Tummalapalli. “When the mother has done something so heinous as killing her children we know that something’s really wrong.”
Tummalapalli says look for warning signs. Anything out of the norm could be a sign of something serious. Even the smallest thing can affect a new mother. And Tummalapalli says all moms need “mommy time”.
“Getting their shower. Their food in the morning. And getting a walk during the day. Those types of things help everybody feel better.” Tummalapalli says, “It’s still wrong. What she did was wrong. But she needs to be treated. She needs care.”