Gwyneth has talked a bit about the difficulty of her postpartum experience after having her son, Moses, but this week’s GOOP puts it out there in a big way. The newsletter features a pretty moving piece by actor Bryce Dallas Howard about her own postpartum experience, two opinions from professionals, and an introductory story by Gwyneth herself.
Click on for an excerpt.
…from Gwyneth: “I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life. For about five months I had, what I can see in hindsight as postnatal depression,”
…from Bryce Dallas Howard: “I felt I was failing at breast-feeding. My house was a mess. I believed I was a terrible dog owner. I was certain I was an awful actress; I dreaded a film I was scheduled to shoot only a few weeks after the birth because I could barely focus enough to read the script. And worst of all, I definitely felt I was a rotten mother–not a bad one, a rotten one. Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear.”
…from Dr. Karen Binder-Byrnes: “Feeling depressed and moody after giving birth does not mean you are a bad mother or incapable of caring for a baby. What it means is that you are human and undergoing a huge transition in your life both psychologically and physically.”
Binder-Byrnes’ piece also contains some important action items for new moms who feel they may be suffering from mood disturbances.
“Besides professional help, the most important steps a woman can take is to:
- not be isolated
- to try to find a support network
- to ask for help from partner or friends and family when feeling overwhelmed
- not to be afraid to talk to her doctors.”
You can read the whole newsletter here. For more in-depth info on PPD and how to manage it, check out Postpartum Progress. It’s an excellent site run by a woman who’s been through it and is now devoting herself to helping other women who struggle with Postpartum Depression.
photo: Raquel Casas/wikimedia