Using Humor to Deal With Postpartum Depression Can Help Others Feel Less Alone
Prevention & Treatment Being a new mom is a wonderful experience for comedian Angelina Spicer, but many people don’t understand how it affects maternal mental health
Comedian and actress Angelina Spicer, wants you to know that being a new mom isn’t as glamorous as some women say. New motherhood is manually pumping breastmilk at a stoplight on the way to work, using numbing spray, not sleeping, not eating, and in some cases, developing postpartum depression (PPD).
Spicer, who is famous for her sketch comedy routines on Disney’s web series Electric Spoofaloo, caught the attention of TheBlueDotProject and 2020 Moms organizations when she began sharing funny yet raw social media posts about real-life motherhood. The organizations ended up bringing the 37-year-old Brooklyn native and PPD survivor on as a spokesperson for their maternal mental health awareness initiatives.
“I didn’t plan on being an advocate for anything other than a good laugh,” says Spicer, calling herself an “accidental activist.” “It just so happened that my truth made people laugh,” she adds.
While caring for her then-8-month-old daughter Ava, Spicer was hospitalized for PPD. Humor wasn’t always an antidote during that struggle, but simply talking about it has helped immensely. “Once you talk about it, you realize most moms have had an experience with some form of postpartum illness,” Spicer says.
Inspiring more conversations
Through her work with the organizations, as well in producing an upcoming PPD documentary she’s raising money for, Spicer hopes to inspire more conversations among new moms — as well as their family members, who can make a world of difference in simply by lending a helping hand.
“I’m using my truth and comedy to change the assumption that new parenthood is blissful perfection. If we can cry about it, eventually we can laugh about it!” she says. “Once people see one person opening up about their struggles, we open up the floodgates for others to join in, and slowly but surely, we’ll have a cultural shift.”