Hollywood’s Baby Boom Blues

Hollywood’s Baby Boom Blues

Hollywood’s Baby Boom Blues

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. A few celeb moms are quietly coming out of the woodwork and opening up about their dark experiences after pregnancy

   

Hollywood’s Baby Boom Blues

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Kendra Wilkinson and her new baby
Kendra Wilkinson and her new baby

Every few days we hear that another celebrity is pregnant and we watch as their baby bump grows. We admire/critique their pregnancy style. We have opinions about how much weight they have or have not gained (She’s fat! She’s too skinny!). We read the tabloids to see what their baby shower was like; which celebrities were invited, the amazing gifts received ($4,000 strollers), and what fabulous restaurant catered / sponsored the event (usually for free). It seems like the perfect ending to a perfect pregnancy. Maybe a bit over the top, but that’s what we expect from them, right?

Once the baby arrives we wait to hear the name (usually strange) and we wait to see the pictures (usually beautiful and airbrushed). And finally we get to hear the new celebrity moms swoon about being “in love” with their precious bundle of baby. We listen in awe as they detail how their personal trainers and breast feeding helped them fit into their size 00 jeans in just a few short weeks. Celebrity mothers seem to have perfect pregnancies (no stretch marks, no morning sickness), and perfect babies that never cry. The babies even sleep through the night the minute they get home from their luxurious hospital stay. Sigh……

Very few celebrity moms talk about the gloomy, unglamorous side to pregnancy/parenthood. One of the latest celebs to blog about her (joyous) pregnancy and the (amazing) birth of her son is Kendra Wilkinson. The reality star recently said, “parenthood is one of the wildest and most exciting things ever." Her son, Hank Baskett, jr. was born on December 11, and Kendra immediately began blogging about how "thrilled" she and her husband were with the arrival of their little boy.

The happiness did not last long though, in later blogs Kendra talks about her struggles with despair and postpartum depression. Kendra said she, “felt hopeless.” And in a recent interview the reality star talked about the depth of her depression. “I just had nothing to live for. After giving birth, I never brushed my hair, my teeth or took a shower. I had this glamorous life before…and now I don’t. I was really depressed", she said.

A few other celeb moms are quietly coming out of the woodwork and opening up about their dark experiences after pregnancy as well. Actress Amanda Peet suffered from postpartum depression after giving birth to daughter, Frances, 17-months. In an interview with Gotham magazine Amanda said that she was hit with “fairly serious postpartum depression” right after her daughter was born. She is currently pregnant with her second child and said, “I want to be honest about [PPD] 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…"

Marie Osmond suffered from mild forms of PPD with her first two pregnancies but following the birth of her third child, Matthew in 1999 she found herself in really bad shape. Marie said, “One day I snapped. 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.” And that is what she did. She walked away. Her husband and mother helped her find treatment and eventually she came back home. Marie said she found out there was a family history of the illness; her mother battled postpartum depression after her nine pregnancies.

Brooke Shields is probably the most outspoken when it comes to struggling with PPD. She tried to conceive for years and after a having a miscarriage and struggling through seven failed IVF attempts, she gave birth to her daughter, Rowan, in 2003. Brooke had very high expectations of herself and of motherhood and was devastated when they weren’t met. “I finally had a healthy, beautiful baby girl and I couldn’t look at her,” she said of the depression she felt. “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. From the minute I had her, there was a complete lack of association with the baby, let alone any connection. I had no desire to breastfeed—even the smell of the powder on the diapers made me feel like I was going to pass out. Her cry meant nothing to me".

Eventually her doctor and husband intervened and she was diagnosed with a severe case of postpartum depression. She began taking antidepressants, going to therapy, and later she wrote a book called, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. She also had a successful second pregnancy without suffering from PPD.

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. The symptoms of PPD are far more extreme and should not be confused with those of the “baby blues.” The baby blues affects as many as 80% of mothers and will typically go away on its own; 15% of mothers will suffer full-blown postpartum depression which usually requires medical intervention. PPD may occur right after delivery or up to a year later; most of the time PPD occurs within the first 4-6 weeks after delivery.

Some of the most commons symptoms to look for are: thoughts of suicide, thoughts of harming the baby, manic episodes, anxiety, elevated stress levels, sleeplessness, lethargy, panic attacks, and loss of appetite. While there is no consensus as to what causes PPD, researchers think the factors that put women at risk include postpartum hormonal shifts, a history of depression and severe PMS, and social isolation.

PPD is widely misunderstood and does not discriminate; rich or poor, famous or not, every new mom is susceptible. Maybe celebs don’t have it as easy as we think. Maybe the pressure they feel to be perfect exacerbates the PPD/baby blues/depression that many new moms feel.

Photo By:  Famouswiki.com


Stacy Matson is a health enthusiast from Southern California and regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of the Best.

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Last Updated : Saturday, September 3, 2016