Cardi said after her daughter Kulture was born in July 2018, her doctor told her about postpartum depression, but she was convinced she wouldn't be affected by it. "I was like, 'Well, I’m doing good right now, I don’t think that’s going to happen,'" she told Harper's Bazaar. "But out of nowhere, the world was heavy on my shoulders."
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), one in seven women experience postpartum depression, feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or fatigue following a baby's birth. Studies also suggest that Black women are disproportionately affected by postpartum depression, and are less likely to receive treatment compared to white women.
Usually, as Cardi described, doctors will educate new mothers about postpartum depression before giving birth, or have people fill out a questionnaire about their mental health to assess their risk, according to the Mayo Clinic. Postpartum depression can last for weeks or months if untreated, and can interfere with people's ability to take care of their baby or themselves, according to the APA. Therapy and support groups can be effective treatment for postpartum depression, and sometimes antidepressants may be prescribed.
Eventually, when Kulture was a few months old, Cardi began feeling better, according to Harper's Bazaar. Now, she said having Kulture around puts life into perspective, which is helpful when something on the internet annoys her. "Sometimes I’ll see something online and it’ll piss me off, and then my baby will start crying or something, and it’s like, 'You know what? I’ve got to deal with the milk. Forget this.'"
Physically, Cardi said she's still adjusting to her postpartum body, which feels noticeably different. "I feel like I don’t have my balance right yet. When it comes to heels, I’m not as good at walking anymore. I feel like I’m holding a weight on me," she told Harper's Bazaar. Obviously, pregnancy and childbirth can drastically transform someone's body, so some physical changes are to be expected. But for some people, postpartum depression manifests in bodily aches and pains. "There’s an energy I haven’t gotten back yet that I had before I was pregnant," Cardi said. "It’s just the weirdest thing."
While Cardi has a way more public life than the average person, it's always a good idea to discuss feelings of depression with someone you trust, like a friend or family member. With more awareness about postpartum depression, hopefully some of the stigma will be removed so people can get the support that they need.