10 celeb mums who have dealt with postnatal depression

Props to these major league mothers who have gotten real about the messy side of motherhood, aka their mental health.

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more
Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more
05 Jun 2017

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more

Celebrities seem to live in a totally different dimension from us. Just look at their airbrushed makeup, perfectly coiffed hair, multi-million dollar business deals and picture-perfect Instagram accounts.


But even the biggest Hollywood and Mediacorp hotshots, at the end of the day, are only human. They, too, are vulnerable to all the same ailments that plague the (wo)man on the street, including postnatal or postpartum depression (PPD).


Characterised as an overwhelming feeling of sadness and helplessness, PPD plagues 10 to 15 per cent of women after childbirth. However, common as it is, there is still very limited awareness on the condition, mostly because many are ashamed to talk about it.

 

In an effort to fight the stigma, these celeb mums have boldly taken the first step to open up about their own struggles with PPD. Some write books or articles on it, while others speak about it on public platforms. At the end of the day, they are all fighting for the same cause – to raise awareness for this preventable mental ailment that’s afflicting the lives of millions of women around the world.

 

Scroll through the photo gallery to find out who these fearless celebs are!

Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar
05 Jun 2017

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Gellar, an actress and co-founder of Foodstirs ― a startup selling organic DIY baking kits for children ― this mum of two admitted to struggling with PPD after the birth of her first child Charlotte seven years ago. In her heartfelt Facebook post on 9 May this year, the wife to actor Freddie Prinze Jr notes, “I got help, and made it through, and every day since has been the best gift I could ever have asked for. To those of you going through this, know that you’re not alone and that it really does get better.” After so many years, Gellar, 40, was compelled to speak up about her PPD in rebuttal to America’s plans to introduce a new healthcare bill that would consider this maternal mental health condition a pre-existing condition. If the bill is passed, women suffering from PPD will not get the proper insurance coverage needed for the best medical care.

 

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
05 Jun 2017

Drew Barrymore

The former ET child star spoke candidly to People magazine in 2015 about her six-month-long battle with PPD. Now 42, this mother to Frankie, 3, and Olive, 4, said she only experienced the condition with her second child. She notes, “I didn’t have postpartum the first time… I was like, ‘I feel great!’ The second time, I was like, ‘Oh, whoa, I see what people talk about now… It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud.” Though her postpartum struggle was brief, Barrymore is thankful for the experience, noting that it taught her to stay more present in the moment, which has made her a better mum

Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen
05 Jun 2017

Chrissy Teigen

Usually bubbly and outspoken, the model and Lip Sync Battle host penned a personal essay for Glamour magazine this March detailing her silent battle with PPD. After struggling with infertility for several years, Teigen and her singer-songwriter husband John Legend finally conceived daughter Luna ― who’s just turned 1 ― via IVF. But instead of feeling overwhelming joy, Teigen admits to not even being able to leave the couch after her baby arrived. “John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row… There was a lot of spontaneous crying,” she wrote. Teigen finally consulted her GP, who diagnosed her with PPD. “I…don’t want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody. But one thing I do know is that — for me — just merely being open about it helps,” she writes in her open letter. 

Jaymee Ong
Jaymee Ong
05 Jun 2017

Jaymee Ong

The actress turned fitness-guru is one of the few local celebrities who has candidly spoken about her PPD struggles with both pregnancies. Mother to Harrison, 19 months, and Juliet, 7, Ong notes that after experiencing it with her first baby, she’d thought she was ready for it the second time round. But it hit her harder and sooner (just three days after birth) than she thought. At her lowest point, she didn’t even want to pick her son up. “I was crying my eyes out. I lost all confidence and I felt so incapable,” Ong, 37, said in an interview in 2015. What was even more unfathomable for Ong was the guilt she felt for feeling depressed. This prevented her from being able to connect with her babies in the initial months. Ong managed to get herself back on track with family support ― especially from her husband, medication and speaking up about her illness. 

Adele
Adele
05 Jun 2017

Adele

The 29-year-old Grammy Award-winning songstress and mum to Angelo, 4, refers to her PPD as a time when she felt “inadequate” and like she had “made the worst decision of her life” becoming a mother. In her Vanity Fair interview, Adele explains that she never went down the medication route, but fought her PPD by giving herself an afternoon a week to do whatever she wanted without her baby. She did it, despite being called a bad mum by others. “Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it,” says Adele. “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.” 

Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere
05 Jun 2017

Hayden Panettiere

The Heroes alum and mum to Kaya, 2, set the record straight about PPD during a 2015 appearance on American talk show, Live! with Kelly and Michael. Before she experienced it for herself, the 27-year-was under the impression that PPD was all about having negative feelings towards your child and the unexplainable need to injure or hurt her baby. But she never had those feelings. "Some women do. But you don’t realise how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on,” she explains. The Nashville co-star also noted that a lot of people brush off PPD by thinking it’s made up in their minds or that it’s hormonal. “It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable. It’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support,” Panettiere asserts. 

Hong Huifang
Hong Huifang
05 Jun 2017

Hong Huifang

The veteran Mediacorp actress, 56, and mum to Calvert Tay, 16, and Tay Ying, 20, revealed that she had been diagnosed with depression three times in the life several years back. The latest bout was during menopause, says Hong, who is married to fellow actor, Zheng Geping, 52, while the first two occurred during her prenatal and postpartum days. The longest bout lasted six months and at one point she was feeling so low, she even found her life meaningless and contemplated suicide. What helped her most was having her husband’s support and taking vacations

Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland
05 Jun 2017

Kelly Rowland

The former Destiny’s Child member and mum to son Titan, 2, gets refreshingly honest about motherhood in her new parenting guide, Whoa, Baby!. In it, she explores topics from post-partum sex to PPD and shares her own no-holds-barred experiences. “Some women are made to feel ashamed about it and that’s a huge problem,” Rowland, 36, said in an interview about her PPD. “But there’s no reason not to talk about it… If we don’t talk about it, it becomes internal, it becomes toxic and poisonous.” As to how she overcame it, Rowland has this profound advice for mums, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. I think as a new mom you have this thing where you feel like you have to figure everything out for yourself. I would say, ask for help if you need it.” 

Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields
05 Jun 2017

Brooke Shields

At a time when it was still taboo to speak about this debilitating clinical depression, the statuesque actress and former child model bravely admitted to suffering from it with her daughters, Grier, 11 and Rowan, 13. Describing it as the most tumultuous time in her life, at one point, she even contemplated putting an end to it all by jumping out of the window of her fourth-floor Manhattan apartment. She also admitted to not having any mother’s intuition at all during those initial months. In her tell-all book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, released in 2005, Shields writes, “I wasn’t simply emotional or weepy, like I had been told I might be. This was something quite different. In the past, if I got depressed or if I felt sad or down, I knew I could counteract it with exercise, a good night’s sleep, or a nice dinner with a friend. But this was sadness of a shockingly different magnitude. It felt as if it would never go away.” But it did eventually become easier to manage, especially as the 51-year-old spoke more about it in an effort to remove the stigma surrounding the condition.

Courtney Cox
Courtney Cox
05 Jun 2017

Courtney Cox

The ex-Friends star notes that PPD didn’t hit her immediately after the birth of her daughter Coco, now 12. “I went through a really hard time ― not right after the baby, but when (Coco) turned 6 months,” reveals Cox, 52, in an interview with USA Today.  "I couldn't sleep. My heart was racing. And I got really depressed.’ Cox, who had Coco with her ex-husband, actor David Arquette, only realised her hormones were out of whack ― which contributed to her depression ― only after a doctor’s visit. She recovered after taking progesterone pills and seeking support from on- and off-screen BFF Jennifer Aniston and fellow PPD survivor Brooke Shields. 

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