(9/19/04 10:41 pm)
changeling children and post-partum depression|
Has there been any papers or stories that deal with any possible connections between changeling children and new mothers experiencing post-partum depression? I can't remember where but I had read that sometimes mothers didn't respond the same to the changeling, even if the changeling didn't appear any different from the real baby. Perhaps mothers experiencing post-partum might think their child is a changeling to explain why they could not seem to care for their child (because it was not really theirs).
(9/19/04 11:07 pm)
Re: changeling children and post-partum depression|
Carole G. Silver has a good discussion of changelings as ill or
deformed human children in her book Strange
and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Conciousness.
I quoted bits of it in an article on changelings: www.endicott-studio.com/jMA0301/changelings.html.
I highly recommend Silver's fascinating book.
(9/22/04 2:16 am)
Post-partum depression, etc.|
This sounds a fascinating subject ! This had not occurred to me before, but I'm certainly aware that when women suffer Post Puerperal Psychosis ( a very severe form of post-birth depression-it may be named differently in the States ?) they often do perceive the baby as a complete stranger and even as an enemy, thus the tragic (and fortunately rare) cases we hear of when a mother kills her newborn. I suspect you are right, Imallozzi, when you suggest the changeling tales evolved partly as an attempt to explain failure to bond, for whatever reason.
Incidentally, P.P.P can be very successfully treated with medication,
and doesn't necessarily reoccur in subsequent births. I know of
a woman who had this-she didn't attack her baby but she did attack
her husband (both baby and husband appeared total strangers to her).
After diagnosis and medication, she was quite soon back to her normal,
non-psychotic self.Thank God for medical progress.
(9/24/04 2:13 am)
Bradbury and babies|
For a truly creepy reading experience that has nothing whatsoever
to do with post-partum depression, pick up "The
Small Assassin" by Ray Bradbury. It is perhaps the most
chilling examination of mother/child relations ever penned.