Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression in which the mother of a newborn experiences severe sadness and hopelessness and has an overall disinterest in forming a bond or spending time with her baby.
It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control that anywhere from 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth will suffer from symptoms of postpartum depression. That averages out to be almost 600,000 women each year. Dealing with postpartum depression is far from easy, but most women are able to fight through it.
However, that’s not always the case. After suffering from severe postpartum depression, a Burmese refugee living in the U.S. is facing manslaughter charges after a failed attempt at a murder-suicide.
23-year-old Shwe Htoo plead guilty to one count of first-degree manslaughter after taking the life of her baby boy, Michael.
On the night of November 17, 2015, she decided to put a toxic mix of sleep medication and bed bug poison in his bottle.
After feeding it to Michael, she drank the rest of the concoction and then blacked out. The next morning, both Htoo and Michael were still alive, but the mother was still determined to follow through with her plan to kill her baby and herself.
Htoo covered the boy’s nose and mouth with her hands for more than five minutes. When she finally let go, he was no longer breathing.
Next, she placed him in a car seat and began driving around. She was looking for a place to commit suicide.
She crashed into a light pole and was arrested by police after they discovered what she had done to the baby.
Initially, Htoo was found too incompetent to stand trial, but that decision was overturned.
Because she plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter, she will not face a second-degree murder charge. Once sentenced, she is expected to spend 12 to 15 years behind bars. She may also get deported.