It’s common for women to experience “the baby blues” after giving birth. Women can feel exhausted, overwhelmed, lonely, and anxious. According to the American Psychological Association, up to 1 in 7 women experience the more serious mood disorder, postpartum depression. Postpartum depression makes it difficult to care for yourself and your new baby, and it can last for many weeks or even several months. These brave celebrities have all come out to publicly share their battles with PPD.
10 Brooke Shields
Shields chronicled her battle with PPD in her bestselling memoir, “Down Came the Rain.” She tells the story of first struggling to become pregnant and then fumbling to find her groove as a new mother. In the book, Shields doesn’t attempt to cover up her deep depression. She admits to feeling despair and even suicidal thoughts before seeking medical treatment and therapy. In 2005, Shields publicly did battle with Tom Cruise who criticized her use of antidepressants for treating PPD.
9 Hayden Panettiere
In 2015, the Nashville star sought professional help at a treatment center for her depression. Although she says she never considered harming her children, she acknowledged that women do sometimes have these painful feelings and believes that postpartum depression is something that should be discussed.
8 Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore didn’t experience postpartum depression with her first pregnancy, but she did the second time around. She explained that while she felt great after her first baby was born, her six-month struggle with depression after baby number two was both overwhelming and stressful.
7 Kendra Wilkinson
Former Playboy bunny Kendra Wilkinson admits to feeling a lot of pressure to immediately lose her baby weight and get back in shape after giving birth to her son in 2009. As a result, she felt frustrated and overwhelmed, and those feelings took their toll on her marriage. She admits to picking fights with her husband, Hank Baskett, threatening to leave, and even contemplating self-harm. She experienced postpartum depression again after giving birth to the couple’s second child in 2014.
6 Gwyneth Paltrow
Paltrow says she experienced a “period of euphoria” after the birth of her daughter in 2006, and expected to have the same feelings again when her son was born in 2009. She said that, in hindsight, she realizes that she suffered from postnatal depression for about five months after he was born. Paltrow has wanted to know more about postpartum depression and shares her experience on her website, Goop.
5 Vanessa Lachey
On her website, Vanessa Lachey explains that she had the “baby blues,” not postpartum depression. She states that due to the roller coaster ride of hormonal changes and dealing with a new baby, 70-80% of women will experience a brief bout of the blues like she did after her son was born in 2012. 10-20% of women will experience postpartum depression, which lasts several weeks longer and includes more intense feelings.
4 Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox said she had a delayed case of postpartum depression. At first, she was fine when her daughter, Coco, was born in 2004. But when Coco turned 6 months old, Cox had trouble sleeping and became depressed. She sought medical help and treatment to balance out her hormones and received lots of support from friends Jennifer Aniston and Brooke Shields.
3 Amanda Peet
Actress Amanda Peet enjoyed her pregnancy and expected that life with her newborn would bring the same blissful feelings of happiness. Instead, her feelings of joy and excitement disappeared, leaving her exhausted and even ambivalent about becoming a mom.
2 Alanis Morisette
Singer Alanis Morisette says it took her a while to bond with her son Ever, born in 2010. She also explains her depression caused deep physical pain and her entire body ached in ways she didn’t know were possible. Morisette explains she waited too long to get help and now hopes that sharing her story will help people understand the struggle many new moms face.
1 Jennifer Lopez
The singer, actress, and American Idol judge suffered from the “baby blues” after giving birth to her twins, Max and Emme, in 2008. A few days after the birth, she became very emotional, a common side effect as progesterone levels drop. The baby blues may also cause a new mom to have mood swings and feel irritable, anxious, and lonely. If the feelings aren’t severe, treatment isn’t needed.
Postpartum depression, on the other hand, needs medical treatment. Therapy, counseling, support groups, and medicine are all tools that can help a new mom cope with her emotions. Postpartum depression symptoms can occur any time up to a year after the birth of a child. If you are feeling any signs or symptoms of postpartum depression, consult with your doctor immediately to get the help you need.