New mamas, unite! The motherhood movement has been gaining so much traction as of late, with moms and those who wish to become moms someday teaming up to fight whatever patriarchy they feel up against.
Moms sharing their experiences make other moms feel like they have a community -- it’s the oldest institution in the book. So, when celebrity moms band together to make statements, it not only makes sense, but it makes the average mother feel that much more seen.
We’ve had Rachel McAdams pumping in couture; we’ve had Hilary Duff and Amy Schumer get real about their struggles with breastfeeding; we’ve had Chrissy Teigen go all in on her post-partum depression. Social media isn’t great for a lot of reasons, but one way it does facilitate important conversations is enabling people, whether they’re A-list or average, to share in their experiences.
The latest comes from actress and entrepreneur Shay Mitchell and model Ashley Graham, who recently got together on Graham’s podcast “Pretty Big Deal.” Graham, who announced her pregnancy in August, chatted with Mitchell, who gave birth to baby girl Atlas in October 2019, about all things mom-ing, and things quickly got real: they talked prepartum depression. And, oh yes, it’s legitimate.
Mitchell was candid about how she felt isolated during the months leading up to Atlas’ birth, and Graham described feeling similar, unexplainable emotions while she's been carrying.
“All of a sudden my emotions, my mind, my body, things that I always had control over are now totally out of whack,” Graham said. “I can't talk to anybody about it. My husband doesn't understand, but he's trying to be as supportive as possible. My mom is like, 'Oh, you'll be fine.' I think I was spiraling a little bit and I was crying a lot."
Prepartum, or antepartum, as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists refers to it, depression affects between 14 and 23 percent of women during their pregnancies. The American Pregnancy Association reports that a lot of these episodes go undiagnosed simply because women and their loved ones are quick to associate the symptoms (difficulty concentrating or sleeping, persistent sadness and anxiety, to name a few) with the typical hormonal imbalances that come with pregnancy.
“My mom said the same thing, and I'd be crying to her and she'd be like, 'You're just emotional, it's just the hormones,'” Mitchell added. “And, okay, it might be, but you don't want to hear that.”
Mitchell also touched on the loneliness that plagued her in the early stages of her pregnancy, which stemmed from her reluctance to share her happy news after having suffered a miscarriage in 2018.
“It’s a really crazy period that I don’t think people talk about enough,” she said. “I heard so much about postpartum, which is also a real thing, but I’d never heard about prepartum depression.”
This, of course, comes amid criticism about Mitchell traveling and going back to work after welcoming her daughter -- which she’s hearing none of.
Let’s hear it for the mamas and send some love their way!