A Korean documentary crew from SBS Korea was on the IUP campus in December 2010 interviewing Dr. Laurence Kruckman, IUP anthropologist, and Carolyn White, perinatal nurse educator from Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC), for a two-part series on birth and the postpartum for an Asian market 60 Minutes-like program.
SBS is a major network in Asia. The show has a following of 47 million viewers; by comparison, CBS’s 60 Minutes has an average audience of 15-20 million. The two-part special, “The Secret of the Postpartum,” is scheduled for air time this winter and later in other parts of Asia.
At right: SBS producer and film crew plus Kruckman and White
The series’ producers and writers, Sunah Kim and Lee Jinju, were interested in the work of Kruckman and White in establishing postpartum support groups and the support group model that they initiated and facilitated at IRMC. That preventive model has been used in many locations in the U.S., including Pittsburgh, and international settings such as Israel. The couple was also asked to discuss the history and role of Postpartum Support International (PSI) as a major provider of support training, certification, and curriculum design in the U.S. and worldwide.
Kruckman and IRMC had been given a national award back in 2000 for their pioneering preventative support series for new mothers and fathers. Kruckman was a founding member of PSI and was president for some time.
White, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, was also interviewed for her role as a Pennsylvania state coordinator for PSI. Mothers can go to the PSI website and find support services available in each state and country. Mothers can also contact a PSI state coordinator for help and advice.
The video interview segment also includes footage of Indiana, including Philadelphia Street, Sutton Hall, the IUP Oak Grove, and McElhaney Hall.
Korea is apparently experiencing a rise in postpartum mood disorders, suicides, and infanticides. The SBS team is filming in many countries. After interviewing at IUP, they moved on to Guatemala to film a rural birth with a midwife and related support services.
The seriousness of postpartum illness is not news, but with this documentary, SBS Korea is increasing global awareness of the need for new-mother social support during this vulnerable time, a position that Kruckman has advocated since 1977.
Department of Anthropology