TV presenter and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen has shared a little more about her battle with postnatal depression (PND), admitting that she struggled to ask for help because it felt “whiny” and “selfish”.
Chrissy and singer husband John Legend are parents to three-year-old Luna and one-year-old Miles and it was after Luna’s birth that Chrissy began to feel very unwell.
“I went to my GP for a physical.” Chrissy wrote back then. “I looked at my doctor, and my eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain. Of sleeping on the couch. Of waking up throughout the night. Of throwing up. Of taking things out on the wrong people. Of not enjoying life. Of not seeing my friends. Of not having the energy to take my baby for a stroll.”
“I was embarrassed”
She revisited this time in her life again recently, explaining the complex feelings that surrounded her diagnosis – and her acute awareness of the privileged position she was in.
“I felt bad [about it] because we had so many resources,” Chrissy told Net-a-Porter in a just-published interview as she detailed the guilt she felt as she dealt with PND.
“John was great and helpful. My mom was here … I was embarrassed.”
“I have a great life,” Chrissy wrote of her PND experience asserting she probably sounds like “a whiny, entitled girl”.
“I have all the help I could need … But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do.”
Thankfully finding the courage to head to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment led to recovery for Chrissy, and she’s now very keen to encourage other mums to reach out for help too.
“Today, she shows no signs of the debilitating anxiety that plagued her after Luna’s birth,” Net-a-Porter confirms.
“Yes, totally, and it’s because I’m obviously medicated,” was Chrissy’s response to this observation.
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It’s Maternal Mental Health Month and I was just on the @TODAYshow with @savannahguthrie and @jennabhager to launch an initiative that’s close to my heart. Join me and @AHNToday, and let’s help all the moms who may be going through postpartum depression or anxiety. Post a picture that captures what it felt like having a new baby, and tell them what you wish you knew when you were going through it. Use the hashtag #MyWishforMoms. Imagine if we can get just as many people talking about postpartum depression as women who experience it each year — that’s over 500,000 of us! #PostPartumDepression #PaidPartnership
“I’m at home with my babies”
“I’m at home with my babies,” she told Net-a-Porter. “They’re in the videos with me. I can experiment and cook. Paul [her chef co-author] and I cook all day. People come in and out all day! And we make them try things for the site. It’s just fun.”
If you – or someone you know – are expecting a baby or have recently become a parent, and are finding things super-tough, please get in touch with PANDA. They’re on standby, ready to support mums and dads through difficult times.