Vanessa Lachey wants to set the record straight.
After revealing last week that her post-pregnancy hormones got the best of her, soon after delivering son Camden in September, Nick Lachey’s wife is now clarifying the difference between baby blues and the more serious postpartum depression.
“Several of you have asked about the difference between Baby Blues (what I had after having Cam) and Postpartum Depression,” the 32-year-old wrote on her blog on Monday. “I wanted to give you all a couple key pieces of information to clarify the two.”
Lachey then wrote that 70 to 80 percent of new moms experience the baby blues “due to roller-coaster hormone levels, little sleep and dealing with an adorable, yet helpless little baby … all the while still recovering from labor.” Symptoms, including weepiness and feelings of being overwhelmed or scared, only last a few weeks after giving birth.
Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is a much different thing. While it only affects between 10 to 20 percent of new moms, it lasts far longer and is a more intense experience with symptoms including the inability or lack of desire to take care of yourself and/or your baby, extreme fatigue, persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, insomnia, and feelings of panic.
In her original blog post from March 6, Lachey shared her own struggle with the baby blues, which began about two weeks after welcoming little Camden John. Tired of feeling like a “milk machine,” the new mom broke down. “I was in my maternity leggings, un-showered with throw up on my shirt, hives ALL over my body (another lovely post pregnancy perk I got) and a sweet, loving little boy who couldn't look at me and smile to make it all better,” wrote Lachey. “I started crying. I was feeding Camden and crying my eyes out. I felt like I had officially come undone.”
She hopped in her car, put down the sunroof, cranked up the radio, and hit a local Starbucks before returning home to Camden and Nick, whom she married in 2011. She says she then took a shower and “put myself together” before rejoining her two guys as a changed woman.
Lachey is not the first celebrity mom to share her struggle with baby blues and postpartum depression. Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Bryce Dallas Howard, Courteney Cox, and Alanis Morissette are just a few famous moms who have told their stories over the years.
Paltrow actress revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that after the 2006 birth of her second child, son Moses, “I didn't feel okay, I didn't feel right. He came out and I thought, 'It's really strange, it's not the same, what's wrong with me?' I went down a slippery slope with it,” added Paltrow, who says it took six months to get out of the funk.
Shields wrote an entire book about her experience with postpartum depression, 2005’s Down Came the Rain. In it, the actress described how, after the 2003 birth of daughter Rowan, she felt suicidal and had an inability to care for her baby until she was prescribed medication by her doctor. That revelation, of course, was famously criticized by Tom Cruise, who called her “irresponsible” and questioned “where has her career gone?” Shockingly, he suggested that, instead of drugs prescribed by their doctors, women should instead take vitamins and exercise in order to alleviate postpartum depression. (Cruise’s Scientology doesn’t recognize “mind-altering” prescription medicine.)
Howard chronicled her own PPD following the 2007 birth on son Theo in an essay for Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter. “I definitely felt I was a rotten mother - not a bad one, a rotten one,” wrote “The Help” actress, who also struggled to shed the baby weight. “Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear.”
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