Ashley Tisdale, Halle Bailey, & More Stars Get Real About Postpartum Depression in Honest New PSA

For too many moms — about 1 in 8, CDC research says — the joy of a new baby is marred by the isolating experience of postpartum depression. And, to quote Chrissy Teigen, postpartum depression doesn’t discriminate — anyone can be affected, celebrities included. “I just didn’t think [postpartum depression] could happen to me,” Teigen wrote in 2017 for Glamour. “I have a great life. I have all the help I could need… that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish… saying aloud that I’m struggling.”

In a new PSA from Natural Cycles, an FDA-cleared birth control app, five more celebrity moms are also speaking out to break the lingering stigma around PPD and raise awareness for postpartum resources. Ashley Tisdale, Halle Bailey, Tess Holliday, Stephanie Beatriz, and Elaine Welteroth all partnered with the brand in its campaign with Postpartum Support International. The celebs appeared in a chic and candid video centering around their own personal postpartum experiences, and they didn’t hold anything back.

“Most days are good, but on those days when I’m down, I’m really down,” said Bailey, who recently opened up about her postpartum depression on social media after giving birth to son Halo in December 2023. “I can’t even be apart from my baby for more than 30 minutes without sobbing — separation anxiety is so real.”

Tisdale spoke about grieving the changes she saw in herself after having her daughter, Jupiter, in 2021. “I learned who I was when I was really young, but overnight, that girl was gone. And it wasn’t just me. My husband became a new person too, and our relationship became a new relationship,” said Tisdale, who’s currently pregnant with her second child. “I had to say goodbye to those parts of me and to us and rediscover myself, my partner, and our marriage, all while taking care of a newborn.”

The common thread in each star’s postpartum story? A need for more resources and more understanding. “Mothers need more support,” said Brooklyn 99 star Beatriz, who opened up about her “debilitating” postpartum anxiety, which lasted for two years after giving birth to daughter Rosaline in August 2022. “I was like a clenched fist that couldn’t relax,” she recalled. “My shoulders were up, my toes were curled inside my shoes. I was back at work within three months and I thought my brain and body would just go back to normal.”

Holliday, a model and social media star, emphasized the need for postpartum for the mother’s sake, not just the child. “Everyone says that it takes a village to raise a baby, but nobody realizes that a mother needs a village too,” she said. “The postpartum depression I had with my son and the lack of support left me feeling like a prisoner in my own room… What I needed at that moment was support, community, and encouragement.”

Welteroth, the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, founder of birthFund, and Black maternal health advocate, spoke about the difficulty of finding her way through the healthcare system during her unplanned pregnancy. “My IQ around my fertility is so low, and I think that’s true for most women, especially when it comes to how to navigate the medical system,” she explained. “Even as someone with privilege and resources, the whole experience just felt so demoralizing and impersonal. if I had more knowledge about my body and what it was built to do, I’d be a better advocate for myself and my baby.”

The five stars spoke in the main campaign PSA and shared more details about their postpartum experiences in individual videos, all promoting Natural Cycles’ new NC° Postpartum feature. The module is designed to be an “innovative experience” within the app that’s “specifically tailored to help guide new moms recovering physically and mentally from childbirth,” a news release stated.

“Our goal with NC° Postpartum is to provide every mother with a supportive resource that I and many others lacked during this crucial time,” Dr. Elina Berglund Scherwitzl, CEO and co-founder of Natural Cycles, said in the statement. The new feature includes symptom-tracking, access to expert guidance, and educational resources for the postpartum journey.

It’s a promising step forward because, as the app’s celebrity partners noted, a little support can go a long way. “I try to be as independent as possible, but I feel like, as a mom, if I ask for help, I’m failing,” Bailey said. “Society needs to take postpartum and what moms go through more seriously. You have to be nurtured to be a nurturer.”

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