Postpartum Depression Doesn't Explain Baby Thrown Two Stories

Sonia HermosilloYou may have heard about the little baby chucked two stories off a parking structure at a hospital in California this week. Well the story's about to get worse. The baby's dad, Noe Medina, has come out to publicly back his wife, Sonia Hermosillo, for the heinous deed. Get that? Even though his wife has been charged with attempted murder of their child, this guy says he doesn't blame her.


Before you say what in the holy hell -- because I know I sure did -- his explanation is pretty simple. Noe Sr. says his wife was under treatment for postpartum depression. He doesn't believe she was aware of what she was doing.

I say bull pucky.

Sure, she probably DID have postpartum depression. Little Noe Jr. was born with congenital muscular torticollis. The 7-month-old (reports originally said he was closer to 1 month old, but he's indeed 7 months) had to wear a helmet every day to treat the resulting flat-head syndrome. Any mom can suffer from depression. But there's a marked increase in the risk of depression for a mom if her child has a special health care need. Add to it the fact that Hermosillo was a stay-at-home mom, another marker for depression, and the fact that she was on her third child (more kids = more stress = you guessed it!).

But here's the thing. Postpartum depression doesn't make you kill your kid -- or try to kill your kid. There is another diagnosis, postpartum psychosis, that could explain this situation. Those moms go beyond depressed. They literally break from reality. It's rare -- we're talking 0.1 percent of births. And of that, there's only about a 5 percent chance of infanticide or suicide.

I'm not a doctor, and I've never met Sonia Hermosillo. She may have been suffering from postpartum psychosis. But let's get this straight: if she really did throw her baby off a parking structure, it's not because she had postpartum depression. Let's not confuse the two.


Image via Orange County Police Department

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