The Naked Truth About Postpartum Depression: Calling on Women to Share Their Stories

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Have you experienced the darkness of postpartum depression?

If you have struggled with PPD – and you’re open to sharing your story with us – we’d love to chat!

We are joining forces with professional photographer Bri Oliver to create a campaign and book, titled The Naked Truth, on postpartum depression.

In a society that fears – and shames – mental health issues, our goal is to raise awareness and shatter myths on this common issue that many women face after childbirth.

Not only has Bri gone through PPD, she has shared her story in hopes of reaching other women also struggling.

The Naked Truth campaign is calling on women to openly share their stories of PPD, and later do a boudoir photo shoot.

“There is something very powerful and liberating about doing a boudoir photo shoot,” says Bri, who has years of experience as a boudoir photographer. “Having gone through the pain of PPD, and coming out the other end with beautiful photos of yourself is incredibly liberating. It brings me immense joy to show women how truly beautiful they are with the photos I take of them.”

Bri says that the boudoir photo shoot – from the experience of getting glam, to tapping into your inner goddess during the shoot, to seeing the beautiful images – is another level of empowerment and healing after PPD.

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“When women have been through the depths of PPD, survive it, and then see their images, it, truly is, a full circle moment,” Bri adds.

We are looking for participants to take part in The Naked Truth campaign. Are you willing to:

  • Share your story of PPD?
  • Do a glamor boudoir photo shoot (either in Vancouver, Canada or Seattle, WA)?

If this sounds like the perfect project for you, please fill out this form.

If you have any questions about The Naked Truth, please email us at thenakedtruth.ppd@gmail.com.

We look forward to hearing from many of you — let’s reveal ‘the naked truth’ of PPD together!

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Filed under: Carousel,Inspirational mom,Post Partum,Pregnancy & Parenting,Women's Health

Photo credit: Bri Oliver

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  1. Nadine

    Look at us. Here we are again. Alluring. In bed. Begging for you to make us pregnant again, because postpartum depression was so much fun.

  2. Hi there I sent in an application form but got no confirmation it was received….is there a way I can check on that?

  3. yasamin

    I experience PPD with my first pregnancy
    I can say it started before giving birth but hot worse after
    My parents do not live in Canada But I had high hops that at least my mom will be able to join me for the north of my first child but unfortunately they did not issue visitor visa for her
    and around the same time that I heard that news my Dr told me that I have to do amnio
    And that was the point everything started
    After I gave birth I was so sceard to.lose my baby I could not sleep orvlet her sleep i was in tears each time I was feeding her and not even my Dr noticed my situation And my PPD caught my husband too which later made us to face real financial problems which after 7 years still its shadow is with us

  4. amanda arbuckle

    I so, so wish I could take part in this. I live in Edmonton though:( I have suffered with ppd for all three of my children. The last one was definitely the worst and I still deal with it. (8 months now) I love what you are doing for women!!

  5. Jen

    Why are we again selling a story basically by sexual images? I went through severe PPD and let me tell you, 5 years removed from this devastating illness, the last thing I want to do to reach, empower and encourage other women is get half naked. What are we proving? That we can be sexy after the dark circles and manic thoughts pass? Please, you may have good intentions, put don’t be another “cause” that gets laughed at because you are doing whats been done for years for basically every marketing strategy out in our flesh-driven world.

  6. Laura

    I don’t perceive this concept as, “selling a story..by sexual images.” I’m not sure how many people are out on the prowl looking for “half naked” women, who are recovering/recovered from postpartum depression. Just not much of a marketing tactic there. This isn’t about selling and advertising women in a sexually explicit way. It’s not everyone’s calling to do a boudoir photo shoot, and you don’t have to. But I can see how this could empowering to women, and possibly allowing them to come full circle in some way. As I am wading through the depths of my PPD, I saw this and thought about how I can’t wait for the day when I’ll love myself and my body enough to say, “I’d love to do a photo shoot and tell my story.” Just because mass media outlets have distastefully exploited sexuality and the woman’s body, doesn’t mean that other sources aren’t capable of executing something creative and good, which rises above the commonplace sleazy material most people are bombarded with daily. There is meaning and vision behind this concept, and that’s something I can and will support. I’m all for being comfortable in one’s own skin, and not feeling ashamed because someone says, you’ll be laughed at for “doing what’s been done for years… in this flesh-driven world.” As women, we don’t need to hide our bodies and shun our sexuality because someone thinks it’s a sleazy marketing tactic. We can do what feels right to us, and more importantly, what we feel will empower and further our lives in a positive way. I think this is a great idea, and it will definitely be a highlight in any woman’s life who decides to do it.

  7. This looks like an awesome project. Wish I lived in Vancouver or Seattle but I am in NW Florida. Would love to spread the word on my Facebook page and social media networks. Is there a way to receive email updates on the project?

  8. Desiree

    I submitted my application but didn’t get a confirmation email. Did you receive it?

  9. Rebecca

    I filled out the form but never received the email confirmation. Please let me know if it didn’t go through.
    thanks!

  10. Chrissy

    I just saw you on global BC and I would love a chance to talk with you I have a story on PPD i suffered from it the minute my daughter was born and I went through a lot I went through people telling me to give her up for adoption and every other horrible thing you can think of and I came out of it with pure willpower and I would love to share my story and help other women know it’s not the end

  11. vanessa schmidt

    Hi there I have filled out a form a saved my progress as twice I filled it out and tried to send it but it didn’t go through? Then I received an email saying I saved it but can not figure out how to access my save form with my info? Please help I would really like to the chance to participate in this incredible opportunity!! Thank you.

    Vanessa Schmidt

  12. Charissa

    I filled out the forms but got no confirmation. Please let me know if you got it thank you.

  13. Patrice Doré

    My daughter is 16 months now and makes my heart skip a cheerful beat every day :) however the dark crying hating anxiety cloud hung over me as well as our home for the first few months after baby came. I hope that everyone has at least one person they can talk to about ppd :’( we are not alone!!!

  14. vanessa schmidt

    Hi there,

    I filled out the form again and I think it went through though not sure? Please let me know if you got it as I would really like to participate in this project!!! Thank you. Vanessa

  15. Kalyani

    Post partum depression, Wikipedia defines it as: is a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety and irritability. This is my definition:

    I want to talk about what my son went through first & then talk about my feelings. From the time my son (DS henceforth) was born, we’ve been through one thing or another. When he was 2 days old, he was diagnosed with jaundice. It took them around 10 days to finally figure out it wasn’t the regular jaundice but breastmilk jaundice. One of the biggest challenges with the jaundice was that he would take over an hour to nurse at a time, 10 times a day. It was exhausting. That was 10 hours in my day where I just couldn’t do a single thing. The other challenge with the jaundice is that he wouldn’t wake up to feed like other babies do – I would have to set the alarm every 2 to 3 hours especially at night to remember to wake him up to feed him – he slept a lot because of the jaundice. He also didn’t latch properly so he was not nursing effectively, he would nurse for long & remain hungry wanting more – all I felt like I was doing was breastfeeding all day. He overcame the jaundice at 12 weeks old. And the next month seemed to be okay. When he was around 5 months old, he started wheezing so I would be up a lot at night, trying to help him breathe without the wheezing – he was put on an inhaler at the time as they assumed he was asthmatic like my husband was as a child. Somehow, since his birth, I just went on autopilot, I did what I had to do & somehow got through my day, I wasn’t living, I was surviving. We were eating leftovers from Sunday well into the week. I had no desire to cook, clean or do anything. I managed to get my daughter to preschool & back, that in itself was a HUGE accomplishment. I remember being so exhausted at one point in time, I missed a step coming downstairs & fell. Luckily, baby was safe in his crib.

    At around 7 months old, he started falling off the growth charts where his weight was concerned. Over the next few months, he dropped from the 50th percentile which he was at birth to below the 3rd percentile. He gradually became so bony & skinny – that is why there are very few photos of him at that age. I went to one of the best pediatricians in the city & after many consultations, they just couldn’t find anything “wrong” with him. That is a horrible feeling – you can’t fix something that isn’t broken. I felt helpless & useless – there was not a single thing I could do make things better, I have always been a go getter, I strive for excellence in everything I do & suddenly I was faced with a situation I was just supposed to ride out? How?

    At 10 months old, he started teething & my worst nightmares began. He literally stopped eating – he would only eat his baby cereal in the morning, he didn’t drink much milk at all, only breastfed for comfort. He wouldn’t eat cereal at any other time of the day. From the time he was 8 months old, I used to puree whatever we were eating & feed it to him, he loved it but once he started teething, he gave that up too.

    For 7 weeks, he didn’t sleep, he would be up every half an hour until midnight & up from midnight until 4am. He only found comfort in breastfeeding, not to fill him up but to soothe him. During that time, my inlaws were visiting (a 4 month visit) but they did nothing to help me out, just added to my workload & criticised me non stop on everything I did, everything I am – basically, nothing about me was “right” in their eyes. That added to my feelings of being inadequate, not a good enough mother. I gave my DS the strongest OTC pain medication but it didn’t help. Part of his teething process would be vomiting for a week (doctors tell me that teething & vomiting have nothing to do with each other but I beg to differ). It was during this time that he started having incessant ear infections (one almost every month) & his vomiting woes continued. From the time he was 10 months old to 29 months old, he spent one to two weeks every month vomiting daily – doctors could find nothing wrong with him. It was impossible to put any weight on him. As a last resort, when he was 16 months old, I regressed him to jarred baby food which he ate. He stayed on that until he was 29 months old, my mom helped me re-introduce table food to him, he was nearly 2 & half then. I often watched other mothers feed their kids table food & I desperately wished for my son to eat the same food. I felt that I had failed as a mother & that is why I couldn’t get him to eat regular table food. I consistently felt like a bad mother & a failure. To add insult to injury, after my in-laws left, my FIL stopped talking to me altogether. The whole time they were visiting us, they made me feel like I was the most inadequate wife, mother & daughter-in-law in existence, his silence made me feel like I was not good enough, like a reject. For 9 long months after this, I considered suicide DAILY. After all, I wasn’t a good enough wife, mother or daughter-in-law so what was the point of living? If I were good enough, my son wouldn’t have so many issues, right? Obviously, I was doing something wrong? I had gone to a doctor to talk about what I was feeling but he made me feel like it was all my fault & I could do better.

    By January 2012, my DS had had too many ear infections to count. I got a referral for the ENT specialist at the Children’s hospital. I actually asked my doctor to give me the number of the ENT & I called up his secretary, they were booking appointments for June (in January). I begged her to help me. She doubled booked an appointment for us in April. One day in March when my DS was going through his vomiting phase with yet another ear infection (his second within 3 weeks), I phoned the ENT’s secretary & bless her, she found a cancelation for the following week & got us in. This was at the end of March 2012. We saw him & he recommended grommets. Then started my begging for surgery sooner rather than later. Again, they told me that it would only be done in June (by the time my DS would be 2 & not talking at all – not a single word, not even “mamma”). I pushed & got him in on April 13th. Friday the 13th. I didn’t care, I knew in my heart, it would be perfect. That morning, I woke my baby boy up, put him in the car & we went for his surgery. He had not had anything to eat or drink as he was going to have a General Anesthetic. I walked my son into the OR & helped the anesthesiologist administer the general anesthetic, my DS screamed & cried as I held him down so that they could put him to sleep, I walked out with my head held high. It was a 10 minute procedure & I was right there when they brought him back to me, crying. I held my tiny, skinny boy in my arms who at 22 months old weighed a mere 10kgs (22lbs).

    It was around this time that I discovered “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It really started changing things around for me.

    The next step was speech therapy because I knew he needed it – he was not talking at all, he had lots of baby babbles but not one clear word. I spoke to my former boss who recommended her son’s speech therapist. When I contacted her, she told me that she didn’t work in this part of the city but would find someone to help me. In the end, I wanted her so I convinced her to come to my home – I paid her for travel costs. We started therapy in April 2012, took a break at the end of October because we went to India. We started by teaching him sign language – the trick was to show him the power of communication – he would get things faster by “asking” for it instead of screaming for it. He would be so frustrated at not being able to communicate that he would bang his head on the floor repeatedly, if I tried to stop him, he would hit me. I’ve taken a lot of blows from him. We moved on to trying out sounds with the signs. From there, we are here today where he can belt out full sentences & have long conversations. It was a long, difficult road. The speech therapist came here at the end of January last year to casually assess him & she was absolutely floored by the way he is talking now. She told me that I should be extremely proud of myself because she knows I single-handedly achieved this. My husband never attended a single speech therapy session. I cried because, for the first time ever, someone acknowledged my hard work, dedication & commitment as a mother, for once, someone gave me a pat on my back & said – good job!

    At the end of the day, as human beings, we need to be praised, encouraged & complimented, a few words of affirmation can go a long way. So, on a daily basis, whomever I meet, I smile & greet them, pay them simple but genuine compliments. For mothers, I always tell them that they are doing a great job with their kids – this is SO necessary to say to mothers, it makes a HUGE difference!

    So where am I today? My healing started last August when I joined a fitness group on Facebook & started working out at home using Beachbody programs. I lost 23lbs in 8 months & a total of 60lbs in 4 years. The endorphins released during my workouts has given me immense emotional strength – I know I am an incredible mother who does incredible things for her kids & the only people who can negate this fact is my children, NO ONE else. This thought has truly empowered me!

    How have I used my personal positivity campaign? I have signed up as a coach with Beachbody, I want to help others, through exercise if necessary. Every Wednesday, I write a note & stick it on my daughter’s snack container, something simple, “You are beautiful, I love you to the moon & back.” She cherishes this so much, she sleeps with these notes. I never miss an opportunity to tell them in any & every way possible that I love them & they are the most important people in my life.

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