17 Celebrity Moms Share Their Postpartum Depression Battles

Maressa Brown | Apr 27, 2017 Celebrity Moms
17 Celebrity Moms Share Their Postpartum Depression Battles
Image: Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

Chrissy Teigen at beauty and the beast premiere
Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

Many debilitating conditions go unheard of until they're lent a voice by someone famous. Thankfully, for many women diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD), celeb moms like Chrissy Teigen -- who penned a moving piece in Glamour about her struggle -- have admitted they've suffered as well, and have helped to destigmatize this common struggle.

Unlike "baby blues," which is marked by mood swings and crying spells that come and go pretty quickly, postpartum depression, which affects one in seven mothers, can linger longer and be more intense. The condition can also create challenges with caring for your little one and other daily tasks. In other words, it can be downright debilitating, and women suffering from it need support.

If only for that reason, it's heartening to see celebrities speaking and writing about their own personal experiences. Here are 17 stars' most poignant quotes about facing postpartum depression.

  • Brooke Shields

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    Brooke Shields red carpet
    Splash News / Corbis

    After giving birth to daughter Rowan with her husband, TV writer Chris Henchy, in 2003, Brooke Shields told People, "I finally had a healthy beautiful baby girl and I couldn't look at her. I couldn't hold her and I couldn't sing to her and I couldn't smile at her ... All I wanted to do was disappear and die. ... If I had been diagnosed with any other disease, I would have run to get help. I would have worn it like a badge ... I didn't at first -- but finally I did fight. I survived." She went on to write the book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.

  • Chrissy Teigen

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    Chrissy Teigen red carpet
    Jakob Epstein / Splash News

    In Glamour's April 2017 issue, Chrissy Teigen penned a piece about struggling with postpartum anxiety and depression after giving birth to Luna, her first child with husband John Legend. Fans and followers were stunned to learn that the seemingly buoyant model and TV host was suffering behind the scenes.

    "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." 

    She has since shared that she feels as though she's starting to feel like herself again and has gotten to the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, her revelation has only served to bolster society's ongoing conversation about PPD.

  • Bryce Dallas Howard

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    Bryce Dallas Howard red carpet
    Byron Purvis/AdMedia/AdMedia/Corbis

    Twilight and The Help star Bryce Dallas Howard revealed back in 2010 that after delivering son Theodore Norman, she struggled with postpartum depression. "Nothing. I felt nothing," she wrote in a Goop newsletter.

    Later, she said, she "seemed to be suffering emotional amnesia," explaining, "I couldn't genuinely cry, or laugh, or be moved by anything. For the sake of those around me, including my son, I pretended." Looking back now, she said of her experience, "Do I wish I had never endured postpartum depression? Absolutely. But to deny the experience is to deny who I am. I still mourn the loss of what could have been, but I also feel deep gratitude for those who stood by me, for the lesson that we must never be afraid to ask for help, and for the feeling of summer that still remains."

    More from CafeMom10 Celeb Moms Who Took On Their Shamers & Dropped. The. Mic.

  • Adele

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    Adele at Grammys 2017
    Xavier Collin/IPA/Splash News

    In December 2016, Adele graced the cover of Vanity Fair, and inside, she spoke candidly about experiencing postpartum depression after welcoming her son, Angelo, in 2012. "One day I said to a friend, 'I f-ckin' hate this' and she just burst into tears and said, 'I f-ckin' hate this, too,'" she explained. "And it was done. It lifted. My knowledge of postpartum -- or postnatal, 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. Eventually I just said, I'm going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f-ck I want without my baby. A friend of mine said, 'Really? Don't you feel bad?' I said, I do, but not as bad as I'd feel if I didn't do it. 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."

  • Amanda Peet

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    Amanda Peet red carpet
    Xavier Collin/Celebrity Monitor/Splash News/Corbis

    Actress Amanda Peet revealed back in 2008 that she struggled with "a fairly serious postpartum depression" following the birth of her daughter Frances "Frankie" Pen. Of her battle, she told Gotham magazine, "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.' I think a lot of people still really struggle with that, but it's hard to find other people who are willing to talk about it."

  • Lisa Rinna

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    Lisa Rinna red carpet
    Paul A. Hebert/Press Line Photos/Corbis

    Soap star Lisa Rinna has been extremely revealing about how her postpartum depression after the birth of her two daughters made her fear it would drive her to murder her family. "I just started to open up and it became this cathartic event ... People don't talk about this. It's very, very scary and vulnerable. I had visions of knives and guns. I made Harry [Hamlin] 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?"

    More from CafeMom: Mom's Honest Belly Photo Reminds Us to Embrace Our 'Postpartum Glory'

  • Courteney Cox

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    Courteney Cox red carpet
    MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

    Courteney Cox, who gave birth to daughter Coco in 2004, admitted that she struggled with delayed postpartum depression. "I went through a really hard time -- not right after the baby, but when [Coco] turned 6 months," Cox explained to USA Today. "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 pummeled."

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

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    Gwyneth Paltrow red carpet
    Brock Miller/Splash News/Corbis

    From Goop detoxes to conscious uncoupling, Gwyneth Paltrow has happily divulged details about her wellness and personal life over the years. Her postpartum depression struggles are no different. Though she didn't experience it when she gave birth to her eldest, Apple, she did when she had her son, Moses, in 2006.

    "I felt like a zombie," Paltrow told Good Housekeeping. "I couldn't access my heart. I couldn't access my emotions. I couldn't connect. It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn't believe it wasn't the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person."

    In retrospect, she said, "I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child. But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it's so important for women to talk about it. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure."

  • Drew Barrymore

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    Drew Barrymore red carpet Santa Clarita Diet
    Splash News

    Although she didn't experience postpartum depression with her first daughter, Olive, Barrymore opened up to People about struggling with it after the birth of her second baby girl, Frankie, in 2014. "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,'" she shared. "It's a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud."

    Barrymore explained that the depression was "short-lived, probably six months," and she's grateful for the experience, which allowed her to work on being more present.

    More from CafeMom: Kelly Rowland Shares How Her Post-Baby Pregnancy Bod Made Her Say, 'Whoa, Baby'

  • Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett

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    Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett pregnant on the red carpet
    All Access Photo/Splash News/Corbis

    When reality star Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett had her eldest of two kids, Hank Jr., in 2009, she struggled with postpartum depression.

    "After giving birth, I never brushed my hair, my teeth, or took a shower," she told OK! "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 [in Indianapolis], I didn't." And she later told In Touch that she struggled for two years, explaining, "I felt devastated, helpless -- like I was in a black hole."

  • Marie Osmond

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    Marie Osmond red carpet
    MSA/London Entertainment/Splash News/Corbis

    Actress Marie Osmond wrote her 2001 book Beyond the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression about her battle with postpartum depression after the birth of son Matthew in 1999.

    She told the Daily Mail of that dark time, "I'd had the baby blues before, but this was different. I remember walking down the stairs and putting Matthew in the arms of the nanny. 'I can't stay here,' I told her. 'There is something wrong, really wrong with me. I have to leave until I figure it out.' I turned away from her, away from my precious baby, away from my life and walked out of the door."

    Thankfully, a chat with her mother on the phone helped her "turn a corner," she says. "Isn't that extraordinary?" says Osmond. "My clever, funny, capable mother who'd given birth to nine children had also known the terror of severe postnatal depression."

  • Melissa Rycroft

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    Melissa Rycroft outside of Good Morning America
    Derek Storm / Splash News

    Melissa Rycroft, who has starred on several reality shows including The Bachelorette and Dancing With the Stars, admitted to The Bump that she initially thought she was just struggling with "a really bad case of the baby blues" after giving birth to her daughter Ava in 2011.

    "I was three months into it before I realized it could be postpartum depression," she explained a year later. "[My husband] Tye [Strickland] -- clearly he knew something was wrong. When I brought it up, he said he'd been thinking it, but I was the one to bring it up. I had a massive case of denial, though. I thought women with postpartum depression wanted to hurt their babies. But for me, it had nothing to do with Ava. I had this big emptiness that you shouldn't have right after you have a baby. I was like, I don't want to seem like I'm not happy -- it's just that there's something chemically wrong. I would get frustrated and angry really easily. Usually I'm very in control with my emotions, and that had changed.

    "I found out that I actually had a classic case of postpartum depression. Only 1 percent of the cases are the more extreme kind. Most cases are like what I'd been going through. It's just that a lot of people don't talk about it, and I felt like the only person going through it."

    More from CafeMom: 15 Celeb Moms With Parenting Advice We Can Actually Use

  • Carnie Wilson

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    Carnie Wilson red carpet head shot
    Celebrity Monitor/Splash News

    Singer Carnie Wilson has fought some very emotional, personal battles in the public eye -- including going through postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter Lola Sofia in 2005.

    She told People, "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."

  • Hayden Panettiere

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    Hayden Panettiere red carpet
    Russ Einhorn / Splash News

    In 2015, the Nashville star appeared on Live! with Kelly and Michael to discuss her experience with PPD after giving birth to her daughter Kaya the year prior. "It's something a lot of women experience," Panettiere said. "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."

    And when it comes to what society believes about PPD, Panettiere believes there's "a lot of misunderstanding." "There's a lot of people out there that think that it's not real, that it's not true," she said. "That it's something that's made up in their minds, that, 'Oh, it's hormones.' They brush it off. It's something that's completely uncontrollable. It's really painful and it's really scary and women need a lot of support."

  • Alanis Morissette

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    Alanis Morissette red carpet
    Photo Image Press / Splash News

    In 2015, the singer-songwriter, who has battled depression off and on throughout her entire life, shared with Oprah's network OWN, "I've wanted to be a mom since as far back as I can remember. And it was coupled with my wondering if I could handle it." She gave birth to her son Ever in 2010 and ended up fighting postpartum depression. "I just felt like I woke up underwater every day and that tar was being poured all over me, and I just didn't want to be alive," she explained. "I didn't want to be here." 

    And back in 2012, she said she wanted to help other women by sharing her experience. "I think if there is any goal in me talking about it, it would be to eradicate the shame around it," she explained. "It's just what happens sometimes and, for me, I just waited way too long to reach out for help."

    More from CafeMom: 15 Celeb Mom Pics That Prove Parenting Isn't Glamorous for Anyone

  • Catelynn Baltierra

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    Catelynn Lowell Baltierra
    Splash News

    In 2016, Teen Mom OG star Catelynn Baltierra checked into a treatment facility for postpartum depression and anxiety after giving birth to her second daughter Novalee Reign.  

    "With Nova, I thought it was severe because I struggled with anxiety already and panic attacks and depression," Baltierra explained to People. "So that is definitely the thing that scares me the most. I want to have a big family and have a lot of kids, but it's scary. It's definitely scary."

    She later elaborated to CafeMom: "I know when I was going through my anxiety and depression, I felt so guilty about being a bad mom. I felt so awful about having to go away. I used to ask Tyler, 'Why do I have to go away and leave my daughter because I'm so f***ed up?' I think what I would say to moms, because I learned this when I was there, if you are going through anxiety/depression, if you feel like something is different, it's okay to not be okay sometimes. It's okay that in order to feel happy, you have to feel sad. Feel your emotions and talk about them. If you can't go to a counselor, talk to somebody you trust, or try to find some kind of resources. You're not crazy, you're not alone, it will go away."

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

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    Sarah Michelle Gellar
    @Parisa/Splash News

    The Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress took to Instagram to reveal that she struggled with postpartum depression back when she had her daughter Charlotte in 2009. "Having kids is wonderful, and life changing, and rarely what you're prepared for," Gellar noted. "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."

    She went on to reassure other women facing PPD and to offer a call to action. "To those of you going through this, know that you're not alone and that it really does get better," Gellar wrote. "And if you believe that postpartum depression should be covered by healthcare, please take a moment and go to callmycongress.com today, find your rep's numbers and let them know. #NotAPreExistingCondition"

celeb moms postpartum recovery chrissy teigen

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