In a serious edition of her often-heckled Goop newsletter, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, 37, enlists the help of Twilight Saga star Bryce Dallas Howard in tackling the tough topic of postpartum depression.
Paltrow reveals that she suffered from postnatal depression following the birth of her second child – son Moses in 2006. Bryce chimes in with her own tale of baby blues in a poignant essay about the 2007 birth of her son Theodore, with her husband, Nurse Jackie guest star Seth Gabel.
Gwyn begins: “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.”
Here’s a piece of Bryce’s tale:
“Before Theo was born, I had been in good humor about my 80-pound weight gain, but I was now mortified by it. 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.”
Howard compare her post-birth experience to “suffering emotional amnesia,” her depression rendered her unable to “genuinely cry, or laugh, or be moved by anything.”
Seth eventually figured out what was going on and rushed to his wife’s aide. She was treated by a doctor who gave her the official “severe post-partum depression” diagnosis. Bryce revealed group meetings with other moms helped, as did Brooke Shields’ 2005 book about her own postpartum depression battle, Down Came The Rain.