About Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling
On July 7, 2001, Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling lost her battle with postpartum depression. She left behind her husband, Jeff; her son, Brandon; and her parents, Joan and Dr. Charles Mudd. Following Jennifer’s death, her family established the Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Postpartum Depression Foundation to honor her memory, prevent more such tragedies from occurring, and assist other women struggling with the illness.
The following memorial was composed by Jennifer’s friend Linley George Othman.
She Had a Heart as Big as the Moon and Pure as Gold
No one would be more stunned by the turn of events that created the Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Postpartum Depression Foundation than Jennifer. Her ebullient joy and laser beam of personal interest and insight was her gift to everyone she knew and loved. Carefree, energetic, devoted and nonjudgmental, Jennifer would want to know what she could do to help this cause, how does this terrible disease occur, and most of all, what needs to be done to solve it.
It was her generosity of spirit that was so special. Be it being an active member of the Big Sister program, teaching adults to read, keeping in touch with an aged friend who had become blind, or trying to convert her dog (unsuccessfully) to being a vegetarian, Jennifer made all those around her feel like they mattered. That light should have shone brightly on her much desired and cherished baby boy Brandon. More than anything, Jennifer wanted Brandon. When she found out that she was carrying a baby boy, she named him immediately and changed the password in her computer to Brandon so she could see his name and say it every day.
One in ten new mothers experience postpartum depression. One in a thousand new mothers suffers from postpartum psychosis.
Our goal is to educate the public to get clear and useful information about postpartum depression to pregnant women, new mothers, and their families. Our programs to educate health care professionals include promoting and supporting training for working with pregnant women and new mothers. Last but not least, we encourage better care by introducing health care providers to screening tools, best practice treatments, and effective postpartum depression treatment programs while helping health care providers institute effective programs within their institutions and practices.
We honor and celebrate Jennifer’s life, which touched myriads of people in more ways than she will ever know. We look forward to your support in spreading the word about this disease and the help that our Foundation can bring.