November 01, 2011 7:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Parenthood's' Monica Potter: Kristina's Postpartum Depression is Real
Parenthood's Monica Potter is making certain that the NBC series remains a realistic depiction of family drama.
After her character, the loyal and almost saint-like Kristina Braverman, gave birth to baby Nora on the Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights) drama, she spoke with the showrunner about including postpartum depression scenes.
"I threw that out there because it's a real thing and a lot of women approached me about it," the mother of three tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I met a woman who was going through severe postpartum depression and I brought it up to Jason and he let me take it to the place I would take it without being a Debbie Downer."
Following the dramatic -- and sometimes comedic (Peter Krause's Adam Braverman trying to be "hip" was priceless) -- episode in which she gave birth, Kristina returns home and, much to the chagrin of her eldest daughter, Haddie (Sarah Ramos), struggles to find balance between taking care of herself, the house a newborn and a son with special needs.
"[I'm playing it] like I'm unraveling and there are things out of my control, which is how women feel when they've just had a baby," she says. "I've felt it at one point in my life and I always like to incorporate the real stuff into playing her."
Potter adds that Kristina will struggle with many of the things new mothers face in figuring out who they are beyond being a wife and mother. "A lot of women have struggled with this -- I struggle with this -- where do you become yourself?" she says.
"You'll always be a mom, but I think women lose themselves as we go into motherhood and being a wife," she says. "It's like daily we wake up and we do the same things every day and we become robotic.
Between juggling her commitments to the full house and with Adam busy launching their recording studio, The Luncheonette, Potter notes that Kristina won't be down for long.
"I feel like Kristina is going to go the other way," she says. "She's been so supportive of Adam and the family for so long and she just had a baby and now she's pulling herself up by the bootstraps and saying, 'I'm still a person, I still have a life beyond being a mother and wife.' "
Parenthood airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.