Pre and post-pregnancy can be a particularly delicate time, not that I would know but as my female instincts have alluded, and it can be further complicated by being stuck in the limelight. Female celebrities have had their own ways of handling their pregnancies. There’s Kylie Jenner, who didn’t admit to the news and disappeared from the streets of LA for all nine months of her pregnancy. There’s Cardi B, who publicly announced her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live and twerked at Coachella soon after. Then there’s Serena Williams, who won the Australian Open while pregnant and quickly mastered maternity style on the red carpet.
These women make it look easy and seem to prove that the pregnancy “glow” isn’t just a myth. However, amidst the red carpet glam and interviews on Ellen, a subject that doesn’t get discussed enough is postpartum depression. Defined as depression that occurs after childbirth, symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, and psychological changes. There’s a dark stigma that surrounds PPD and the topic can be shied away from, especially when the entire world is celebrating the newest addition to your family and expecting you to feel on top of the world even if you’re not. PPD can be wrongfully brushed off as “short-term” or something easily dealt with and new mothers don’t always recognize the condition. These are five celebrities who have gotten real about PPD in hopes of spreading awareness and encouraging other mothers to seek out support systems.
The model, who has no problem getting vulnerable in the public eye, has talked about everything from her savage opinions on vegetarianism and male sandals to her struggle with alcohol. Last year, Teigen penned a personal essay to Glamour and discussed her struggle with postpartum depression.
Despite a happy pregnancy and a work environment that welcomed her back with open arms, Teigen faced physical and mental changes. She wrote, “Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful. My lower back throbbed; my shoulders—even my wrists—hurt…One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people.” She continued, “Suddenly I had become this person whose shoulders would cower underneath her chin. I would keep my hands on my belly and try to make myself as small as possible.”
After her official diagnosis, medicine and therapy began to help and Teigen was and is determined to break the stigma. Before her experience, she detailed how no one had told her that they endured PPD. Despite her struggle, she hasn’t let it prevent her from expanding her family and is set to give birth to her second child soon.
The actress developed the condition after giving birth in 2014 but has stated how it made her stronger. In an interview with Good Morning America, she said, “I think it helped me identify what was going on and let women know that it’s OK to have a moment of weakness.”
Panettiere’s TV character on Nashville, Juliette Barnes, also experienced PPD but it was reported that the storyline was written well before Hayden’s own personal experience.
Paltrow has two kids, Apple and Moses, and while she noted that she was over the moon after Apple’s birth, it wasn’t the same experience with Moses. Us Weekly reported that during a recent podcast, she said, “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.” Paltrow was lucky enough to not have to seek hospitalization and since then, she’s newly engaged to Brad Falchuk.
Emily Maynard Johnson
Maynard was a former Bachelorette and her being a mother was a major aspect of her background and was emphasized during her search for love. Before her season on ABC, she became a mom at 19 and gave birth to daughter Ricki. She told People, “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.” Maynard’s situation was particularly difficult as she lost her fiance before Ricki’s birth.
While Maynard may not have found love on reality TV, she married Tyler Johnson later on and welcomed her second child in 2015, a third in 2016 and a fourth in 2017.
The singer detailed her experience with PPD to Vanity Fair in 2016 and how it held her back from wanting another child, “I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me.”
She continued, “I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life…Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it; they thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it’s not the case. It makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time.”