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Being a mom is no doubt fulfilling. But while it can be a source of joy, it can also be a tough job to navigate.
According to studies, the postnatal period, in particular, can be very difficult for mothers – with 1 in 7 new mothers experiencing postpartum depression. According to Healthline, postpartum depression “causes changes in mood, exhaustion, and a general sense of hopelessness for a long time after birth.”
Even celebrities have shared their experiences in managing motherhood alongside this mental health issue. Here’s how they handled the pressure of parenthood:
In a January 2024 episode of Fast Talk with Boy Abunda, actress Kris Bernal revealed that she was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety.
“I was enjoying the whole time being pregnant. Hindi ko alam na ang hirap pala kapag nanganak ka na (I didn’t know that it would be this hard once you gave birth),” she said. “It’s really not easy. I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety kasi nahirapan talaga ako mag-adjust (because I was really finding it hard to adjust).”
The first-time mom, who gave birth to daughter Hailee Lucca in September 2023, shared that she feels like she “could no longer recognize [her] old self.”
“Feel ko parang bagong tao ako…. The things that I used to love, wala na. I’m loving myself now pero siguro may hinahanap pa ako sa dati kong sarili (I feel like I’m a brand new person.… The things I used to love no longer interest me. I’m loving myself now but I’m still looking for something from my past self),” she added.
Bernal, however, was quick to clarify that she’s thankful to be a mom: “This doesn’t mean I’m not grateful or na hindi ko gusto ‘tong journey ko. Ito ang pinakamagandang nangyari sa buhay ko (that I’m not happy with my journey. This is the best thing that’s happened in my life.)”
Months after giving birth to her first child with Luis Manzano, actress Jessy Mendiola got candid about her postpartum body.
“The truth is, accepting your postpartum body gives a huge impact on your mental health. I went through postpartum depression and it wasn’t easy,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
Mendiola continued that while she’ll always have insecurities, having recognized the strength of her body has helped change her perspective.
“Once you acknowledge the strength of carrying a life inside you for nine months, giving birth and caring for your baby while recovering is definitely amazing,” she added.
Prior to this, the actress already opened up about experiencing body image issues when she was pregnant, sharing that she didn’t “feel like [herself] anymore” and that she “really get[s] insecure” at times.
In August 2019 — shortly after giving birth to her second child — Andi Eigenmann detailed her struggles accepting the changes brought upon by motherhood.
“I guess this is what postpartum depression looks like to me. I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Sleepless nights are getting the best of me. When the others are asleep, I’d shed tears I’d normally save for my acting performances on TV show finales,” she said.
The actress continued that she’s “having so many thoughts of guilt” and even “questioning every decision [she] made.” But Eigenmann clarified that while she misses her old self prior to having two kids, she still doesn’t regret the life she has now as a mother.
“I love where I’m at, even if it hasn’t been easy. That’s what keeps me going,” she said.
Prior to being a mom, Toni Gonzaga said she wondered why mothers experienced postpartum depression. However, after giving birth to her first son Seve in September 2016, the actress-host experienced first-hand how it was to be in their shoes.
During a 2017 press conference, Gonzaga recalled that during the first weeks after giving birth, she would usually cry in the bathroom when she was alone.
“Kapag umiiyak siya (Seve), sabi ko, ‘Umiiyak na naman siya, ano na namang kailangan niya?’ Iiyak din ako, magda-drama din ako. Minsan may gaanon kami, kapag umiiyak siya, iiyak din ako,” she said.
(Whenever Seve would cry, I’d say, ‘He’s crying again, what does he need again?’ I would cry too, I would be dramatic, too. Sometimes we do that – when he cries, I cry too.)
When asked about her advice to moms who are also dealing with postpartum depression, Gonzaga emphasized the importance of having a support system to talk to.
In a February 2023 Instagram post, actress Kylie Padilla detailed how she struggled with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety three years prior.
“The chemistry in my body was out of control, hormonal fluctuations took a toll on my emotional journey. Complications from birth hindered me from taking care of my kids,” she said.
The mother of two recalled that at the time, she was in constant pain and constant doubt. Among her worries include whether her body would recover or if she’ll be able to stand or walk properly again.”
Padilla shared that “never in [her] life” did she feel so “emotionally, physically exhausted” than during this period.
“Like all wives and mothers do, I was fulfilled. But was I happy? And is seeking my own happiness even a possibility? I asked myself every single day,” she wrote.
Reflecting on how much her life had changed, the actress said these emotional tolls made her appreciate where she is now.
“I have a safe home for my kids, work that I’m proud of, and one by one, my dreams are becoming reality. After all my doubt, pain, and fighting the silent battles, fighting my own psyche for the right to be happy, I’m still here,” she said.
In a February 2021 vlog, US-based actress Michelle Madrigal opened up about how not having a support system when she gave birth to her daughter in the United States led her to having postpartum depression.
“Having a child on its own without any family members, mahirap (it’s tough). I didn’t know how to figure it out. I didn’t invite anybody. It was just me when I gave birth,” she said.
“Mahirap na parang wala pala akong support (It was difficult kind of realizing I didn’t have a support system) here. And then the transition to stay-at-home, finding myself…I had postpartum depression. Six months.”
Madrigal said that aside from crying at random times and for unknown reasons, her mood swings were also bad.
“There’ll be days na sobrang high (I feel high and) I’m really happy…and then at night time, parang (it’s like) I don’t want to talk to anybody,” she said.
As she detailed her experience, the actress also pointed out how mental health issues like this shouldn’t be taken lightly by Filipinos.
“You have to acknowledge it,” she said. – Rappler.com