“I’m glad she wrote about it,” John Legend said about his wife, Chrissy Teigen choosing to share her struggle with postpartum depression. “I think it was powerful for her to let a lot of women know they’re not alone, and no matter how much money you have or fame, anybody can feel that. And it’s hard for anybody no matter how successful you are and how many resources you have.” We couldn’t agree more.
Here are 11 times celebrity women broke the silence on the often difficult life after childbirth.
“Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed,” she wrote. “John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.”
“They say you bond instantly with your baby but I didn’t have that instant connection. I was in a 20-hour labour and just when I was about to push him out, his heart rate dropped, so there was a lot of panic in the room and we were all in tears. Then, when he eventually came out, everyone screamed “congratulations” and they had to put him on my chest to bond. Instead, when they did, I said “He is beautiful, but can I sleep for just one hour?” Thereafter, I was so overwhelmed, that for a week after delivery, I would cry every day.”
“One moment, tremendous happiness; the next, fatigue sets in, and I cried for no reason, and then that took care of itself,” Celine Dion says of her twins’ births. “Some of the first days after I came home, I was a little outside myself. I had no appetite, and that bothered me. My mother remarked that she noticed I had moments of lifelessness, but reassured me that this was entirely normal. It’s for things like that after having a baby that mothers really need emotional support.”
BROOK SHIELDS, (from memoir, Down Came the Rain: My Journey With Postpartum Depression)
“Rowan kept crying, and 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. Every time I have been near a baby, any baby, I have always wanted to hold the child. I didn’t feel like I wanted to get too close to Rowan.
I thought I might try to escape or wouldn’t be able to stop myself from swallowing a bottle of pills. I even thought I’d welcome being kidnapped. These were strange, irrational fears that still felt real to me.”
“I went through a really hard time—not right after the baby, but when [Coco] turned 6 months,” Courteney Cox has shared. “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.”
“I kept saying to him [her husband, Dax Shepard] in all sincerity during my pregnancy, “I just don’t know how I’m going to like her as much as I like the dogs.” I was being serious. Because I . . . love my dogs; they are my children. I love people the more I know them, and I didn’t know her. It could’ve been a water bottle in my belly, that’s about how connected I felt to her during my pregnancy. But within about 24 hours after she came out, my hormones reset, and they reprogrammed my feelings about her.”
“If you think for one second that a mother wants to feel that way toward her child, you’re outta your mind. It is one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings that you can ever feel. That a mother would not be able to connect with their child, would not be able to get a grip, or would not know what’s going on, for anybody to say that it’s false or created by us, you must have your head examined.”
KENDRA WILKINSON, (from Being Kendra: Cribs, Cocktails, and Getting My Sexy Back)
“After giving birth, I never brushed my hair, my teeth, or took a shower. I looked in the mirror one day and was really depressed. I thought: Look at me, I had this glamorous life in LA, and now didn’t. A couple of times I even said, ‘I just have nothing to live for.’”
“At my lowest, I was a robot. I just didn’t feel anything. I had no maternal feelings for him – it was awful. I couldn’t connect, and still, when I look at pictures of him at 3 months old, I don’t remember that time.” She added: “My problem was that I never acknowledged anything was wrong. I didn’t put two and two together.”
“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.”
LENA HEADY (aka Game of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister)
“I had postnatal depression, which I didn’t realise for a long time. I went a bit nuts and eventually went to a guy who mixes Western and Eastern philosophy in terms of medicine and he put me on a course of something that changed everything.”