If you are struggling with postpartum depression, you are not alone. Whether you’re a high-profile mom or a regular mom like us, PPD does not discriminate.
Although it’s still a taboo topic in some circles, more and more celebrity moms are revealing their struggle with postpartum depression.
Model-actress Brooke Shields was one of the first A-listers to go public with her battle. Since then, high-profile moms like Adele, Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigen have opened up about their struggles in the post-baby days.
In hopes of shattering the shame and changing the conversation, let’s take a look at 25 celebrity moms who have shared their battle with PPD.
Ivanka Trump: “It was a very challenging, emotional time for me because I felt like I was not living up to my potential as a parent or as an entrepreneur and as an executive. And I had had such easy pregnancies that in some way the juxtaposition hit me even harder… I didn’t know that I was. But you asked me a question and…it’s incredibly important and look I consider myself a very hard-charging person, I am ambitious, I’m passionate, I’m driven, but this is something that affects parents all over the country.”
Alanis Morissette: “There are days I’m debilitated to the point where I can barely move. As a kid, I imagined having children and being with an amazing partner. This is a whole other wrench I didn’t anticipate…It’s very isolating. I’m used to being the Rock of Gibraltar, providing, protecting and maneuvering. It had me question everything. I’ve known myself to be a really incredible decision-maker and a leader that people can rely on. [Now] I can barely decide what to eat for dinner.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar: “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.”
Chrissy Teigen: “Postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do. I’m speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody, and I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone. I also don’t want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody. But one thing I do know is that — for me — just merely being open about it helps.”
Adele: “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…You’re constantly trying to make up for stuff when you’re a mom.”
Vanessa Lachey: “I started crying. I was feeding Camden and crying my eyes out. I felt like I had officially come undone. I imagined blissful days, tired nights, but quiet loving moments. I imagined family dinners with the 12 casseroles I prepared ahead of time, and a beautiful post-pregnancy glow that embodied me 24-7. But this was none of that.”
Hayden Panettiere: “The postpartum depression I have been experiencing has impacted every aspect of my life…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.”
Carnie Wilson: “I cried all day over everything. It’s a physical feeling. I don’t know how to describe it. You’re overwhelmed with love and joy, then sadness and fear. You’re so afraid you’re going to fail this baby. What if you drop her or hurt her? She’s totally dependent on you and it’s scary.”
Amy Davidson: “The first month, I just couldn’t stop crying. Of course, I knew about postpartum depression and I hoped that it wouldn’t affect me, but it did. It hit me hard. Those first four weeks were so incredibly challenging. I was sad and it didn’t make sense, and that made me more sad.”
Jenny Mollen: “Prepartum Depression… it’s what often happens to expectant moms who are awake in the world… I could already be in a depression. I’m planning on eating my placenta, but I’m also anticipating a major emotional dive. I think that it’s chemical. I think people don’t talk about it enough. Because having a baby is the scariest f— thing that could happen to a woman…It was just like the craziest come down of my life. Maybe because I know what to expect this time, it’s almost happening sooner, like I’m already going through the motions of [this] insane life changing experience.”
Emily Maynard Johnson: “The first couple of years were so hard. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. At the time, I didn’t know it was postpartum. I had never heard of that. I read online that [intense emotions] can hurt the baby. So I was suppressing those feelings. I tried to just look to the future and my due date. [After the birth of my first child], I never really saw the joy in it. I was getting up at night and all of those things, but I never took a minute to breathe her in and appreciate those moments.”
Drew Barrymore: “I didn’t have postpartum the first time so I didn’t understand it because I was like, ‘I feel great!’ The second time, I was like, ‘Oh, whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand.’ It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud. I just got right on the idea of, where do I need to be the most? Fifty-fifty would be ideal but life doesn’t work like that. Life is messy. It was just really challenging and I felt overwhelmed. I made a lot of decisions and I definitely changed my work life to suit my parenthood.”
Kendra Wilkinson: “I was at a real low. I even questioned my life. If it wasn’t for breastfeeding Alijah, the bond I had with her, I feel like I would have probably ended my life. I felt like I’m not even supposed to be here.”
Gwyneth Paltrow: “I couldn’t connect with my son the way that I had with my daughter and I couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t connect to anyone. I felt like a zombie. I felt very detached. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me…. My husband actually said, ‘Something’s wrong. I think you have postnatal depression.’”
Melissa Rycroft: “It wasn’t fun! It took a couple months for me to come to terms with the fact that there was even something wrong. I kept blaming it on baby blues and adjusting to motherhood. It wasn’t until Tye suggested that I go and talk to my doctor and see if there is something he can do to help. I was in such denial that it was postpartum depression because I, like many other people out there, associated postpartum depression with women that want to hurt their babies or hurt themselves. And I didn’t have any of that. I was just always unhappy with me and unhappy with everything around me and nothing made me smile and I felt empty. I was just going through the motions and I just couldn’t figure out why if I had everything in the world to be happy and thankful for, I just couldn’t feel happy. The doctor actually said that was classic postpartum depression but we just don’t hear about it. What we hear about is the 0.1 percent of women that do hurt their children. It took me a year to talk about it. There’s still a lot of shame and embarrassment about it because a lot of people don’t talk about this side of it. I am a very happy person normally. I am someone who has been in complete control of my emotions and for the longest time I wasn’t.”
Natalie Grant: “I think it was really hard to talk about because I am such a proud person, and maybe because I do inspirational music, I’m in the spotlight all the time, and everyone always expects me to have my life together. The only person I really had was my husband. For a while, I didn’t want to recognize that I had depression. I felt completely overwhelmed and totally incapable of having three kids. I remember having such an inner battle with myself.”
Peggy Tanous: “I had PPD really bad after I had my first daughter London, but didn’t realize I had it and was in denial. Then my husband and his mother did an intervention. I started taking a natural supplement called SAMe that really helped. I knew I wanted two kids, but was afraid to have another one. We decided to try and figured it might take awhile. I got pregnant right away, but luckily was able to take the natural remedies throughout the pregnancy. I still had bad days, but when Capri was born it was a totally different feeling. I wasn’t scared or fearful, rather happy and nurturing. Talking about it helps and exercise also really helps. I try to take a lot of walks. I wanted to be open about my PPD on the show [The Real Housewives of Orange County], as this show is centered mostly around drama and if I’m able to help people with what I dealt with I feel it makes it all worth it.”
Marie Osmond: “When I had postpartum, I remember vividly driving that car and thinking … how people would be better off without me. I really believed that.”
Courteney Cox: “I went through a really hard time – not right after the baby, but when she turned six months. I couldn’t sleep. My heart was racing. And I got really depressed. I went to the doctor and found out my hormones had been pummelled.”
Amanda Peet: “I had a fairly serious postpartum depression. I think it was because I had a really euphoric pregnancy. I want to be honest about it because I think there’s still so much shame when you have mixed feelings about being a mom instead of feeling this sort of ‘bliss.’”
Bryce Dallas Howard: “It is strange for me to recall what I was like at that time. I seemed to be suffering emotional amnesia. I couldn’t genuinely cry, or laugh, or be moved by anything. For the sake of those around me, including my son, I pretended, but when I began showering again in the second week, I let loose in the privacy of the bathroom, water flowing over me as I heaved uncontrollable sobs.”
Brooke Shields: “Rowan was a complete stranger to me. I had always thought there would be an instant bond, but no matter how long I stared, I couldn’t seem to feel one…. I began to dread the moment when Chris would bring her to me. Although I didn’t dislike her, I wasn’t sure I wanted her living with us…. I didn’t feel like I wanted to get too close to Rowan.”
Lisa Rinna: “It’s very, very scary and vulnerable. I had visions of knives and guns. I made Harry hide all the sharp knives and take the gun out of the house because I had visions of killing everybody. Now how horrific is that? I wanted share it because I think women are so shamed by this and feel so horrible… I found help and got through it.”
Gena Lee Nolin: “Getting over PPD was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I call it the real success of my life, because at the time I was in such a horrible state, that I seriously didn’t know how to live or feel. It was impossible for me to do anything without getting the proper help I needed, which is why I’m saying — get help! The best advice I can give and something I personally did was call my OBGYN. They will point you in the right direction and most likely have you come in to discuss medications or other directions you may want to take. This is a serious illness, so please for you, your loved ones & me. Reach out.”
Farrah Abraham: “I figured I would drown myself in the bathtub — that seemed like the easiest way to go. I pictured telling her that I missed her daddy, and that I felt overwhelmed by the changes in my life, and that she deserved the best and should be surrounded by happiness… When I drank, I’d be happy for 10 minutes. When I got high, I’d feel a sense of nothingness for about an hour. But in the end, my negative emotions always came rushing back.”
Kudos to all of these brave celebrity moms for sharing their truth with the world!
Did you suffer from postpartum depression?