Most people are familiar with the more glamorous and happy parts of a pregnancy, especially when it comes to celebrities. There's the reveal, which may or may not literally break the internet. Then there are plenty of bump updates and sweet pics from the baby shower. Of course, it all culminates with a snapshot of the newborn right after delivery. And it's happily ever after from there, right? Not always. In fact, postpartum depression is a common condition that's been coming out of the shadows and into the public discourse. Thanks to a handful of stars, we're talking about it — as we should. In fact, 11 to 20% of women experience PPD (as do some men), so we're applauding anyone willing to open up and share their own stories.
Nashville star Hayden Panettiere is one of the most outspoken. "It takes you a while, and you feel off, you don’t feel like yourself," Panettiere told Good Morning America's Lara Spencer of battling PPD. "I think I'm all the stronger for it. And I think I'm a better mom because of it because you never take that connection for granted." Her Nashville character, Juliette, faced postpartum depression on the series, too, which also brought attention to PPD and offered other women a relatable depiction of its struggles.
And it's not just a matter of mental health. Chrissy Teigen explained that PPD affected her physically, too. "Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful," Teigen wrote in a powerful essay for Glamour. "My lower back throbbed; my shoulders — even my wrists — hurt." One symptom of PPD is physical aches and pains — which can include stomach aches, headaches, and even muscle and back pain. These are all symptoms of anxiety and depression, too.
Bryce Dallas Howard adds that while she loves her child "with all of [her] heart," she just wanted "to disappear" when she was with him. It's a complicated dynamic. Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow have opened up on the subject, too, highlighting their own personal difficulties with PPD. Brooke Shields, Adele, and Alanis Morissette both added that they wish that they'd reached out for help earlier. Thanks to their comments and all of the women who are working to bring PPD to the forefront, we are talking more about how women can manage the condition and seek help.