Listing baby names, finding out the sex of the baby, setting up the nursery, and finally meeting the newborn are some of the joys of pregnancy. But what follows birth varies–it’s not always the picture a mother has imagined. Often, new mothers feel bad for having bad feelings in the first place, which isn’t their fault.
Chrissy Tiegen and other celebrities reflect on this topic of conversation that silently affects thousands of women: postpartum depression.
“I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better,” Chrissy Teigen pens in her article in Glamour Magazine. Tiegen discusses her joy in realizing she could seek treatment for an unexplainable pain.
It is not always a direct physical indication or pain that taunts women. Tiegen is one of many women who expressed her trials and tribulations regarding postpartum depression.
Tiegen is known as a happy spirit, often poking fun at herself or her husband, John Legend on social media. There is no holding back her quick-wit and commentary.
In her essay, she recalls her pregnancy as almost effortless. Tiegen states, “I had such a wonderful, energetic pregnancy. Luna sat inside me like a little cross-legged Buddha facing toward my back for nine months.”
Following the birth of her first child, daughter Luna, Tiegen experienced angst as she tried to cope with an inexplicable sense of unhappiness.
Postpartum depression (PPD) does not choose one type of personality, age, or ethnicity. Any woman can be affected. What is expected to be a euphoric time for a mother and her child–also often a hectic time–can be deprived by anxiety, sadness and exhaustion.
After childbirth, hormone imbalance is common as estrogen and progesterone levels deplete, altering a woman’s state of mind. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue thus not allowing women to get sufficient rest to stabilize.
Tiegen along with other celebrities like Hayden Panettiere, Lisa Rinna, and Emily Maynard Johnson share similar stories. They highlight a sensitive topic that can be difficult to discuss for any new mother.
Actress Lisa Rinna states in her book Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever, “People don’t talk about this. It’s very, very scary and vulnerable. I had visions of knives and guns. I made Harry [her husband] 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 to share it because I think women are so shamed by this and feel so horrible…I found help and got through it.” Rinna credits disclosing her depression to helping her get through PPD.
Actress Courtney Cox, most commonly known as Monica from the hit-show Friends, suffered from a similar situation. Cox was instructed to take progesterone to help manage postpartum depression.
Actress Hayden Panettiere sought treatment as she suffered her own version of postpartum depression. Although Panettiere’s was not as extreme as Rinna’s, she endured an overwhelming sense of sadness. She remained in a treatment center as she dealt with the aches and pains of postpartum.
Panettiere shared how she felt “empowered” to be back into her routine and with her daughter Kaya post-treatment on the red carpet for the Critics’ Choice Awards. She said, “I feel like a different person walking on this red carpet. I always felt a little socially awkward—I mean, I’m still socially awkward, but I feel like I don’t have to hide myself as much anymore,” she told Access Hollywood.
Former Bachelorette Emily Maynard Johnson discussed managing a newborn as she dealt with her grief upon the passing of her fiance, at age 19. She dealt with anger and sadness but associated those emotions as part of grieving. She later would find she was also suffering from PPD.
A commonality among these women’s stories is the willingness to speak out and discuss PPD. In solidarity, we need to break the stigma that it is shameful to suffer from PPD. Whether it be confiding with friends, visiting a physician, or seeing a therapist, we hope the shame does not prevent you from getting the help you deserve.
As with any emotional struggle, speaking up and seeking help always makes things better for you and those around you.