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Man speaks out about postpartum depression after wife dies nine days after giving birth to twins

Man speaks out about postpartum depression after wife dies nine days after giving birth to twins

Tyler Sutton is speaking out about postpartum depression after his wife, Ariana Sutton, died by suicide nine days after giving birth

Content warning: This article contains references to subject matter that some readers may find upsetting

A man who lost his wife to postpartum depression has said he will spend the rest of his life raising awareness about the condition.

On 22 May, Ariana Sutton, 36, gave birth to twins Everly Irene and Rowan Stephen. Ariana and her husband, Tyler Sutton, were also parents to their four-year-old daughter, Melody.

Just nine days after giving birth, Ariana died by suicide.

Tyler is now speaking out about the condition that led to his wife’s death.

The dad-of-three, who works as a police officer in Massachusetts, said that his late wife, who was a dance instructor, did not experience mental health issues before giving birth to their first child.

Ariana experienced a ‘very serious case’ of postpartum depression after delivering Melody in 2018.

Postpartum depression, which is also known as postnatal depression, is a common issue which affects more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth, according to the NHS.

The mum-of-three died just nine days after giving birth to twins.

Although many women may feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth, which is commonly referred to as the ‘baby blues’, it becomes a serious cause for concern if it lasts for more than two weeks after giving birth. If symptoms last longer or start later, parents could have postnatal depression, which can start at any time in the first year after giving birth.

Tyler explained in an interview on Good Morning America that the couple ‘weren’t familiar with it’ and were ‘very much in the dark’ about postpartum depression. As the symptoms got worse, they didn't have any organisations to reach out to ‘because we didn’t know what we were dealing with’.

Tyler noticed changes in his wife’s personality but thought it was due to ‘being a new mum’. One day he came home from work and realised Ariana needed professional help.

"I came home [from work] one morning and I just couldn't recognize the person sitting in front of me," he said. "So we dropped my daughter off with her grandmother and got her to the hospital where they said it was postpartum depression."

After two different hospitalisations, Ariana began to return to her old self due to medications and help from a mental health professional.

Tyler explained that the decision to expand their family following the birth of Melody was made very thoughtfully.

"When we finally got pregnant with the twins, we came up with a plan," he said. "We got a team together -- a psychiatrist that we had known for four years and a therapist that she continued to speak with for all those four years, because she was always in fear that it would return."

Tyler Sutton is now raising awareness about postpartum depression.
ABC/Good Morning America

Ariana had a healthy pregnancy and went into labour around three weeks before a planned induction. She was discharged a few days after giving birth while the twins remained in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

The premature birth was a ‘big trigger’ for Ariana, Tyler said. She began to suffer from postpartum depression a lot sooner than after the birth of Melody.

"What happened to her over the span of a few weeks happened this time around within a couple of days," Tyler said. "And even though we had a plan in place, there was no way for us to predict that this would happen so quickly and so suddenly. It just came out of nowhere and we weren't ready."

Following his wife’s death, Tyler said he will continue to raise awareness about postpartum depression for the rest of his life. He wants to create change as a legacy to the mother of his children.

"Hopefully by the time they're old enough to have children, there'll be a better system put in place for them,” he said.

Ariana Sutton was described as a 'vibrant and devoted mother'.
Farley Funeral Home

Tyler also said he wants to see a change in how healthcare providers talk to expectant parents about postpartum depression.

"If there was something that I could start right now, [it would be to] ask the medical community just to make a small change to their routine, and add one more line to their checklist of things to do when they meet with people," he explained.

He would like pregnant people to be given the name and number of a social worker they can contact and to meet with a therapist during pregnancy to establish a relationship in case there’s an emergency.

On how he wants his three children to remember their mum, Tyler said: “Postpartum depression was not really something that defined her, it was something that happened to her that can be avoided, that we just couldn't get a hold of in time."

For more information on postnatal depression, visit PANDAS for more help and advice. You can call for free on their free helpline on 0808 1961 776

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Facebook / GoFundMe

Topics: News, Pregnancy, Parenting, Life