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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Emily Hoberg Roy

This is a story that has hit way to close to home for me. I have not been able to concentrate on work today after having read this. (One other point I read in another article, she removed her son's helmet before she did this)

I have a 9 month old daughter who has tort and plagio. She was in a corrective helmet for 12 weeks. Her plagio (flat head) is not completely gone but you would never know by looking at her. In fact, most people who are walking around today have mild to moderate plagio and just don't know it. She still does have the tort which for her is a head tilt for physical therapy and time will help with this.

These are completely treatable 'conditions' that many many babies have to deal with. I understand that she was suffering from PPD but there is no way in the world I can imagine doing this.

The one positive thing about this is that maybe tort and plagio will get a bit more attention and people will understand why some babies have to wear helmets.

dirti... dirtiekittie

if this woman really did have PPD, and she was being treated for it then this is just a terrible, terrible tragedy. somehow, though... i don't feel that's the case. now, PPP like the blogger mentioned is totally different and possible... but maybe she just didn't feel capable of taking care of a special needs child. maybe they didn't think they could afford any special dr's / treatments or the like (it was their third and she's a stay at home mom... i don't want to assume they're not rich but i've yet to see evidence that they are) and in her possibly unbalanced state she thought this could be the best solution. (i'm not saying it is, but people going through this kind of mental imbalance do *not* think rationally!)

i will say this though - if it was indeed her reacting to the PPD that caused this horrible tragedy, then her husband standing by her side is the best thing for her. i truly hope that's the case, because even though it doesn't help their poor little baby, she will need that support. and if that's not the case... i don't even want to consider the option. that poor child!

nonmember avatar Hlm258

I'm surprisingly pleased with this article and the comments I'm seeing here. This was such a horrible tragedy and who really knows why this woman did what she did. I always feel as though moms who hurt or kill their babies are always skewered by the media and the public before anyone learns what may be going on. Yes, there are evil people in this world who torture and kill their own children because they have no sympathy for other life. However, some women are seriously mentally ill and having a child, or children, isn't going to make that go away just because they need to be responsible for their offspring. In truth, having kids can often make mental illness worse- especially if that child has special needs, as is the case here. We'll never know for certain what happened in this instance, but thank you for writing an article that entertains the notion that this woman was ill and not in control of herself when this happens. We need to be more supportive of each other (not condoning murder of course!) and understand that preventing tragedies like this means offering help to those who need it and not stigmatizing moms who are genuinely struggling to get a hold of themselves.

SandM... SandMsMama

ppd is bad, I know bc I had it the first time around, but it never made me want to harm my baby. much less toss him off a building. using ppd as an excuse for your murder attempt is just sad, and she deserves to be punished to the FULL extent of the law

Tania Garcia

This is a local story for me. In the news reports they stated that she had been hospitalized back in May for PPD. But was going to her first therapy session on Monday (the day she killed her son). If this is true, then that means that for about 3 months her diagnosis wasn't taken seriously. Or maybe she didn't have access to healthcare coverage. She's being held without bail on immigration charges. She might be an illegal immigrant. Either way, I agree with most people. I don't think  PPD should be used as an excuse for murdering your child.

ArmyW... ArmyWife8297

i have PPD but I wouldnt ever hurt my children, when things get hard you put them in the safe place and take a safe time out until your heart rate slows down..

she was a run away remember! both her and the baby were missing, there is more the the story then we know, maybe they had a fight about the baby and she filled with hate and wanting to kill him, PPD is no excuse

Then the dad went on TV asking not to hate her and to forgive her it was depresstion and he "still" loved her WTH 

KKsmo... KKsmommy07

I understand people not fully understanding ppd or ppp the brain is a complicated thing and mental illness is very difficult to diagnose and treat. That being said if you have never suffered from either of these please don't cast judgement. I had ppd after my second baby was born and although I never tried or thought of physically harming my baby I could see how some one could get to the mental state were they could be capable of it. There have been many stories of mothers comiting suicide while suffering from ppd how is this different. She needs help not hate, especially from strangers and the media just interested in casting stones.

Susan Delly

Yes, this is tragic.  But as I'm not her doctor or God, I won't judge her for.  I do know, however, that depression and especially psychosis can lead people to do horrible things... things that they can't live with later. 

Also, just because one mother has had ppd doesn't mean it's at all comprable to what this woman was experiencing.  I'm lucky that I've never experienced something like ppd or ppp so that gives me even less right to condemn her. 

smurf... smurffettmommy2


mommy... mommyme2440

i have had ppd and ppp. the difference is like night and day. i was hospitalized for halucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts with ppp, and it didn't fix with just a pill. ppd was just feeling down and anxious and unmotivated, and the first pill did the trick in under 2 weeks.

please don't think it s impossible that it could be ppp. 

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