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Mom Dealing With Postpartum Depression Is Found With Frostbite in Her Car. Her Infant Was Dead Next to Her

A 3-month-old baby from Indiana who was reported missing on March 4, was discovered with her mom who was found sitting in their car in below freezing temperatures the following day.

The mother, 36-year-old Rachel McAfee, and her 3-month-old daughter Emma were reported missing after McAfee’s husband grew worried when she didn’t drop their daughter off at a relative’s house like she was supposed to.

McAfee was later found with frostbite, while Emma was pronounced dead at the scene. McAfee is currently believed to be in stable condition.

According to the Indy Star, the mom was struggling with postpartum depression (PPD) at the time of her daughter’s passing. McAfee has since been arrested and charged with neglect.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Deputy Chris Bailey said that they found the mother-daughter pair after a woman noticed them in a grey Subaru on March 5.

Bailey said state police were in the process of issuing a “silver alert based on some of the medical conditions.”

As The Indy Channel reports, as a result of McAfee’s battle with PPD, it was believed she may have been suicidal.

However, there is “no direct correlation between perinatal mood disorders and infanticide abuse or neglect.”

PPD is very common amongst new mothers. According to the Mayo Clinic, postpartum depression can lead to a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Depressed mood or severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

If not properly treated, PPD can last several months, if not longer.

As the Mayo Clinic reports, although dealing with these symptoms can be “embarrassing to admit,” it’s very important for mothers to reach out for help from their doctors if any of these symptoms do occur.

Sara Pollard, an Indiana Coordinator of Postpartum Support International, told The Indy Channel that “as many as one and five, to one and seven women, will have symptoms of some type of mood or anxiety disorder” following birth.

And as Pollard continued to add, no one mother will suffer the same exact symptoms when battling PPD:

“It can be guilt. It can’t be feeling overwhelmed. Maybe even some sadness, some ‘this isn’t what I thought it would be. This is harder than I anticipated.’ So that’s very unique to each woman who is experiencing symptoms.”

She then wanted moms to know that they are not alone in their struggles, “Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Please don’t suffer in silence. There are people out there. Many of us that volunteer with Postpartum Support International are survivors.”

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  1. JAIL!!!!!! There is no excuse for this behavior. Be it PPD or whatever you want to call it, this child should not have suffered at the hands of a mother because of this condition. The husband should have recognized this and stepped in, and kept her away from her.

  2. Jail is not a solution to mental illness. And people with severe forms of depression can be good at hiding what is going on, so the husband is not to blame either. This lynch-mob, quick-to-blame-someone mentality is ridiculous and does offer a real solution to the problem.

  3. Thank you for your comments RW. PPD is very real. Can you imagine the guilt she will live with when the PPD finally lifts. There is no justice here for her or her deceased child, only tremendous sorrow and grief.

  4. If you haven’t gone through postpartum depression, you have no room to comment. Interesting enough, only men have had harsh words for this suffering mom. Of course they dont even have the slightest clue as to how this mother was feeling leading up to this tragedy. Women across the world suffer from this; problem is their society doesn’t care.

  5. If you haven’t lived with the hell of PPD then you can’t judge! What this woman did is awful. But what she was going through is very real. R.I.P little one. For your mother knows not what she’s done 😭😭

  6. But what about the baby? Don’t you dare say she didn’t suffer, and suffer horribly. I agree that the wrong one died. It’s like someone who is suicidal but mass shoots a dozen people before killing himself. Take yourself out first, jerk! That dear baby had her whole life ahead of her. The one who survived will listen to those who support her, and plod on in her miserable life.

  7. I’m sorry for her, I’m sorrier for her child. Yes, she needs care and therapy but she also needs to serve time in prison. Maybe she can get her head screwed on right

  8. People’s remarks may be harsh but this is something that husbands and close members of the family of a woman who has just given birth may have to face, this can happen to any woman if they do not get the care after giving birth. In my culture women who have just given birth do not comb there hair, do not get a haircut nor is she ever allowed to do her household chores till after 3months. She is never allowed to sleep on the same bed as her husband this is to keep her out of danger which is PPD. She is the queen in her house, she just bathes, feeds baby and rests till after 3mnths, we cannot blame this woman and should not be put to trial for the death of her baby. I only wish she was close to me, I’d very much like to help her.

  9. I went through ppd and for a while my family and husband said it’s the baby blues you’ll bee fine. I finally kept telling the doctors that something was wrong with me. After 3 months i finally got a doctor to help me. My baby is 15 months and doing great. I am off meds and back to normal. This woman could have been asking for help we dont know and maybe she got pushed aside like i did. I had the anxiety and the constant crying. She obviously was depressed and disassociative. It is awful and sad. This is why we need better mental health in this country.

  10. I’ve gone through ppp. Postpartum psychosis. It’s even worse then depression. It is the worst most horrible overwhelming sense of dread. You are locked prisioner in your own mind and you cannot escape. I raised my daughter on my own and went to seek help from my Dr. She asked me if I had thoughts to harm myself or baby. I sobbed and couldn’t even answer. She gave me Zoloft which made me even more depressed! It was a never ending battle and I felt as if life was not real. Almost like an alternate demention I was on. I never hurt my baby or myself. Daily I would drive myself to my parents house because I didn’t trust myself with my daughter. Before having her we tried for years to have a baby. Invitro eventually helped us achieve our beautiful daughter. My husband was not onboard once we got home. Having a child was overwhelming for him. Ha! He did nothing and left constantly to avoid being an active parent. This was in addition to the postpartum. I don’t know how I ever survived this but I did. My daughter is now a teenager. And I thank God everyday for the strength of pulling me through this. Postpartum is real. Very very real. And very very scary.

  11. I have previously replied today at 12.23am, if you are a woman please lets lift each lady up and not mock each other over this sickness, I am a black woman from a Pacific Island nation I have been to other countries and I find this depression to be a sickness that attacks a lot of women in the developed countries. We are fortunate to have and some of us are still living with our extended families and the flow of love is everywhere in our households. We still take our forefathers herbal medicines to heal them internally as it had been 9months of carrying and giving birth is something so totally different and if a woman is not taken care of after giving birth PPD will surely come uninvited to her which if not taken care of in her early stage will lead to insanity and for some even death. There’s a saying in my mother tongue which is often said to women who have just given birth that goes like this if I have to translate it in English I quote ” Watch yourself woman when PPD gets you, you will never have time to say your goodbyes nor have the time to ask anyone to look after your children for you, I unquote.

  12. As a nurse we were trained to watch for signs of this in a new mother and if we saw signs we immediately reported this to the doctor. It is a very serious depression and one that needs to be treated immediately and it involves the father and family members as well.

  13. I would really like to thank dearly. com for giving us this platform to share our views specially women, I will say we are the stronghold of a family and there are women out there who need help but do not know where to turn to and this is a platform that you can use. To the McAfee Family my condolences to you and I know it will take a while for Rachel to recover and all she needs right now is everyone’s support and LOVE.. YESTERDAY WAS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, SO GIVE EVERY WOMAN YOU KNOW A BIG HIGH FIVE!!!!

  14. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mrs MacaFee and her family and loved ones. I suffered PPD symptoms after each of my 8 miscarriages. Guilt and thoughts of death were consistent with all of them. I still suffer huge guilt still. I’m one of those women who were too ashamed to get help or tell any of my doctors. But I do encourage women who do suffer PPD after a birth or miscarriage to get help.

  15. So because she was fucking depressed that’s an excuse for her to literally freeze her baby to death instead of swallowing her god damn pride and asking for help? I’ve dealt with crippling depression and anger throughout my life I had bad thoughts but you know what I did I asked for help or found an outlet for those feelings that wasn’t harmful to anyone including myself. The real issue here is we still don’t take mental illness seriously enough we think we don’t need all the sanatoriums we use to have when we very much still do but with a much higher level of transparency obviously. Creates jobs keeps dangerous mentally ill of the streets and it gets them all the help they need and rehabilitation if they are capable of functioning in society. This woman should have been given a mental wellness exam before being allowed to leave the hospital all women who give birth should if this is as common as they state it is. They should have at least a week long mandatory follow up sessions period also where the examination can be done in the home or at the hospital whichever is best for the person. How many more times do we need to see mental illness take the life of an innocent or someone who could have been helped before we finally take this seriously?

    • I really agree with most of what you have written although I saw first hand moms who were diagnosed with this and it’s to the extreme almost psychotic. Sometimes the moms don’t know what’s happening and the hospital maternity nurses should have picked up on that.

    • The moms who suffer from this don’t recognize the problem, or at least what it is and how bad it can get. The medical professionals–sorry folks–but, they don’t take the time to follow-up like they should. It’s like a factory production line–it sucks. You are a number, that’s it. They are all nice and cordial, but they don’t follow-up. Blaming the doctors in private practice–the ones in charge of the business (and it IS a business)–not so much the workers-.

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