These Celebrity Moms Battled Postpartum Depression
While a wonderful occasion, welcoming a new baby into the world is stressful enough. Aside from sleepless nights and getting acquainted with your new family member, your body undergoes significant changes post pregnancy.
Hormones can run amuck, which includes a significant drop in estrogen and progesterone, according to Mayo Clinic. Hormonal changes, plus emotional issues, such as sleep deprivation and anxiety may contribute to developing postpartum depression.
Fathers can experience postpartum depression too, Mayo Clinic notes and symptoms range from feeling depressed and excessive crying to irritability and panic attacks. In the most severe forms, hallucinations, paranoia and even attempts to harm the baby or self-harm are possible.
Experiencing postpartum depression symptoms can make the parent feel shame or weak. However, Mayo Clinic notes that parents who experience this form of depression should understand it is a symptom of giving birth and not a character flaw. To help remove shame from postpartum depression, some celebrity moms have shared their experiences.
Alyssa Milano opened up about dealing with a generalized anxiety disorder, which was triggered by postpartum depression, she wrote in an essay for Time.
“That first night, after we returned from the hospital, I suffered my first anxiety attack. I felt like I had already disappointed my child. I felt like I failed as a mother, since I was not able to give birth vaginally or nourish him with the breast milk that had not come in yet. My heart raced. My stomach seized up. I felt like I was dying.” Milano recounted a rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety until she finally received medical care.
Paltrow recently told People she had postpartum depression after her son was born. “I had postnatal depression, as you know, after my son. A doctor tried to put me on antidepressants and I thought, if I need them, then yes, I’ll come back to it.”
The mother of two says alternative methods helped her. “I thought, well, what if I went to therapy and I started exercising again, and I stopped drinking alcohol and I just gave myself a period of regeneration and I slept more? I really broke out of it.”
New mom Chrissy Teigen experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her first child, according to her essay in Glamour. After giving birth, Teigen noticed a shift in her physical and emotional being. “Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful,” she wrote. “My lower back throbbed; my shoulders—even my wrists—hurt. I didn’t have an appetite. I would go two days without a bite of food, and you know how big of a deal food is for me. One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people.”
Also, she recalled randomly bursting into tears as she wondered if this was what motherhood was about. Finally, Teigen sought treatment from a physician and started to feel better. After her second child was born, Teigen shared the unconventional way she fought back against postpartum depression: she ate the placenta following childbirth, People reports.
Sarah Michelle Geller
Geller got real on Instagram when she went public about her battle with postpartum depression. She wrote: “Having kids is wonderful, and life changing, and rarely what you’re prepared for. I love my children more than anything in the world. But like a lot of women, I too struggled with postpartum depression after my first baby was born. I got help, and made it through, and every day since has been the best gift I could ever have asked for. To those of you going through this, know that you’re not alone and that it really does get better. And if you believe that postpartum depression should be covered by healthcare, please take a moment and go to callmecongress.com today, find your rep’s numbers and let them know.”
The powerhouse tennis star first hinted about her struggles on Instagram after giving birth to her daughter. “Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom,” Reuters reports. Williams endured several postpartum complications including life-threatening blood clots.
She posted about never feeling like she could do enough for her baby, writing, “I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.”
The supermodel and mother of three shared the stress, anxiety, and guilt she felt after having children. “When I became a mom, I kind of lost myself,” Bündchen told People. “It was like a part of me died. I’d been this very independent person. It was all about me. But now I had this little being, and I suddenly felt l couldn’t do other things and that was very hard for me. All I ever wanted was to be a mom, but when you’re actually experiencing that, it’s a shock.”
Despite her resistance to reach out to others, Adele found solace talking with other moms who endured the same struggles. She told Vanity Fair about a conversation with a friend how confusing postpartum can be.
“One day I said to a friend, ‘I f**kin’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I f**kin’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted. My knowledge of postpartum—or post-natal, as we call it in England—is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life . . . . It can come in many different forms.”
Panettiere seemed to echo the same mixed signals mothers get about postpartum depression. “I can very much relate,” she told Live! With Kelly and Michael, US Weekly recounts. “It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you’re told] about postpartum depression you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child.’ I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding,” she added. “There’s a lot of people out there that think that it’s not real, that it’s not true. That it’s something that’s made up in their minds, that, ‘Oh, it’s hormones.’ They brush it off,” she said. “It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable. It’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support.”
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