WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police couldn’t say Friday whether a woman charged with stabbing her two children was suffering from postpartum depression, but they also weren’t ruling it out.
“I’m a police officer, I’m not a health-care provider,” said Winnipeg Police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen when asked about reports she may have been affected by the condition.
“Is that a possibility? Sure, it very well could be, and it would be inappropriate for me to say ‘no, no, no, that couldn’t be the case.”’
Thursday evening, around supper time, police say the woman was in her apartment in an inner-city public housing development when she attacked her four-month old son and nine-year-old son, stabbing both of them with a knife.
The woman’s 32-year-old sister and her four-month-old daughter were also in the apartment with her at the time. Michalyshen said the 35-year-old went for the infant girl as well but her sister struggled with her and disarmed her, getting wounded in the process.
The nine-year-old ran out of the suite and building security was notified. Michalyshen said he wasn’t sure who called police and paramedics but they arrived quickly and the two children and their aunt were all taken to hospital and were in stable condition Friday.
Although public housing developments in the area are frequently the sites of violent incidents, this one is far from the norm.
“I don’t recall reporting an incident quite like this,” said Michalyshen.
The 35-year-old woman is facing three charges of attempted murder, as well as assault with a weapon and assault. She was being held in the Winnipeg Remand Centre
Neighbours said the family were new Canadians, originally from Africa, and Michalyshen said as far as he knew they had no prior involvement with police.
The Canadian Mental Health Association says researchers have identified three types of postpartum depression. They range in severity from the simple “baby blues” through postpartum depression and, finally, postpartum psychosis.