“A dark place” Gwyneth Paltrow says postnatal depression took her by surprise

Gwyneth Paltrow

Content note: This post discusses miscarriage and postnatal depression

Actor Gwyneth Paltrow is mum to 12-year-old son Moses and 13-year-old daughter Apple, and she’s recently opened up a little more about the dark days she experienced, following her youngest child’s birth.

“A dark place”

The mum of two chatted to her own mother, Blythe Danner, on the Goop podcast “Gwyneth x Blythe: On Mothers and Daughters,” revealing she found herself unexpectedly in a “dark place” after Moses was born – suffering from postnatal depression (PND).

This was especially surprising, Gwyneth said, because she’d had a much easier experience with her first baby’s birth and had assumed the second-time-around would be similar.

“I think (it) was really shocking to me because I never thought that I would be a person who got postnatal depression,” Gwyneth told her mum. 

“I was so euphoric when Apple was born, and I assumed it would happen with Mosey and it just … it took a while,” she remembers. “I really went into a dark place.”

Read more about postnatal depression:

“Painfully debilitating”

This is not the first time the actor and mum has shared details of her postpartum struggle. Writing for her Goop newsletter back in 2010, the mum-of-two was keen to share her experience, starting a dialogue about the condition that affects so many new parents.

“When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth, much the way I had when my daughter was born two years earlier.”

“Instead 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, and since that time, I have wanted to know more about it,” she added.

“(My case) was low-grade enough that I didn’t have to be hospitalized,” she told Entertainment Tonight, “I think there’s so much shame around it – and there shouldn’t be.”

Gwyneth co-parents Apple and Moses with her ex, musician and Coldplay front man Chris Martin. She’s now engaged to the gent below, producer Brad Falchuk.

“I nearly died”

So will another baby be on the cards for Gwyneth, now that she’s in a committed relationship again? It’s hard to predict. Back in 2013 she spoke to the Mail on Sunday, revealing she was undecided about adding more kids to her brood, following a devastating miscarriage when she was pregnant with a third child.

“My children ask me to have a baby all the time and you never know – I could squeeze one more in. I am missing my third. I am thinking about it. But I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third and it didn’t work out and I nearly died. So I am, like, ‘Are we good here or should we go back and try again?'”

We wish her the very best, whatever she decides, and think it’s brilliant that she’s talking about this important issue which affects so many mums and dads.

If you or someone you know are suffering from depression and/or anxiety – during pregnancy or after having a baby – PANDA are at the ready to provide support and advice. PANDA National Helpline – Mon to Fri, 9am – 7.30pm AEST – 1300 726 306

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