Hayden Panettiere on PPD: ‘It doesn’t make you a bad person [or] a bad mother’

Hayden Panettiere was on GMA yesterday looking like a million bucks. She really looks incredible and I love her tight red dress and her styling. Whoever did her makeup knows their stuff. Hayden is promoting the new season of Nashville, which premiered on CMT last night, and this is her first live interview since she went to rehab for postpartum depression for the second time. Hayden was talking to Lara Spencer, who admitted that she also went through PPD but didn’t realize it at the time. Lara gave her a lot of credit for recognizing the signs and seeking treatment. At times Hayden seemed uncomfortable talking about PPD but I think that may be because it’s not something she wants to keep revisiting, but she does it for the sake of getting the word out.

How did you know [you had PPD]?
It takes you a while and you feel off. You don’t feel like yourself. But women are so resilient and that’s the incredible thing about them, and I think I’m all the stronger for it. I think I’m a better mom for it because you never take that connection for granted.

Kaia is now two years old
I was just with her in Austria and she’s skiing now. She would go straight into a wall if you let her.

How are you doing now?
I’m feeling fabulous. I’m feeling great. I’m so glad to be be back playing Juliette. She made me stronger. She’s like a phoenix. She crashes and burns and she rises form the ashes. She always takes the lesson and becomes stronger for it. We have that in common I think.

What was it like, life imitating art or vice versa where Juliette is going through postpartum depression?
It absolutely helped me. I think it helped me identify what was going on. To let women know that it’s ok to ask for help and that it’s ok to have a moment of weakness. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you a bad mother. It makes you a very strong resilient woman. Men, don’t take us for granted.

On her character’s future on Nashville

[She’s] alive. There was a plane crash. She’s not in a great place when we see her. That resiliency. She’s going to go down a road and a path that you would never expect from Juliette.

[From GMA.Yahoo.com]

This reminds me to watch the new Nashville! Like Corey, I was a faithful watcher every week. Although some of the plotlines make me roll my eyes the good soapy bits outweighed the bad. Hayden is one of my favorite celebrities after taking up this cause and it’s like we’ve seen her mature over the years. I really like seeing interviews with her and it seems like everything is going well at home with her fiance, Wladimir Klitschko, and their daughter Kaia. Maybe there’s a reason they haven’t officially married yet though. It might not be the right choice for them.

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17 Responses to “Hayden Panettiere on PPD: ‘It doesn’t make you a bad person [or] a bad mother’”

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  1. Lucy says:

    Her smile always illuminates her whole face. You wouldn’t be able to guess she’s been through such things. I’m very happy for her!

  2. lemonbow says:

    Genuine question: it is really called “rehab” when you go somewhere to overcome depression?

    • Amelia says:

      I don’t see why not, it’s just short for ‘rehabilitation’.
      I had months of rehab to recover from some pretty severe fractures and surgeries, I’ve had out-patient treatment for depression and I have friends who have been admitted to residential treatment programmes.

      I don’t know at what point rehab became synonymous with celebrities and vices, but rehab can serve a variety of health related purposes 👍

    • aerohead21 says:

      It’s gentler than saying they were locked up in a psych ward. Like rehab is by choice, not because they are crazy. Really, it’s gentler for us, the voyeur than the person going through it. We, on the outside, stigmatize it based on our values and beliefs. Depending on where you are from people still think some pretty ignorant things about mental health in general so whenever someone with a mouthpiece speaks out about it and helps to normalize it, I applaud them. There are several mental health issues and illnesses where “rehab” or regular outpatient counseling does not mean you are certifiably bang your head on the wall crazy, which is what a lot of people think. My hope is that the next generation watching will feel less humiliated, less stigmatized, and more self-aware so that they seek help when they need it. I would prefer people see it as a sign of strength to seek help instead of a sign of weakness.

    • Missy says:

      I know a girl who in is “rehab” now to learn how to walk again after she had paralysis from a flu shot. Its not always because of an addiction,

    • Little Darling says:

      No, it is never, EVER called rehab, which has a stigma all on it’s own. In the birth industry we call it inpatient care for perinatal health issues.

    • Spiderpig says:

      The press call anywhere that handles addiction “rehab.” I live near the Priory (famous “celeb rehab” in London) and it’s actually a serious psychiatric hospital that treats a range of issues, and also treats NHS (ie non-paying) patients. The press makes out like it’s wall to wall rock stars coming off coke.

    • imqrious2 says:

      The word comes from “rehabilitate”, which means, literally, to restore someone to health. So yes, she can say she’s been to “rehab” and be correct.

  3. MsGoblin says:

    Oh, Charles Esten…. if I dump my husband for you, will you dump your wife for me?

  4. detritus says:

    I like the fishtail braid and glasses combo and Hayden is lovely for speaking out.
    I think any post on her should have a required Wladimir pic.

  5. EEV says:

    I *LOVE* that she’s so open with her PPD struggles. Pregnancy and motherhood are both such wild rides and I feel like there’s often a perception that once baby’s arrives, everything is sunshine and rainbows. I was not at all prepared for the onslaught of post-partum emotions and was a blubbering mess for 2-3 weeks after my daughter was born – and that’s just the ‘baby blues’, not PPD. If she helps even one woman, kudos to her.

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Could not agree more. That whole lifestyle and relationship change that happens when you have that first baby is overwhelming. And everything is painted as “you are so lucky, it’s the miracle of life,” and “you’re selfish to complain, think of all the people who struggle to conceive” makes one extra shameful in admitting they are struggling.

  6. TQB says:

    Thank you for continuing to cover her. I continue to root for her so much!! Also, I had bailed on Nashville early last season – just too soapy – but I watched the Premiere/Preview/whatever that’s up on Hulu and report that it was excellent and I’m back in. Much less wacky, more sincere, more music. And I hate country music, but it’s still better that way.

  7. gene123 says:

    I think it is so important that we continue to discuss PPD and bring it to the forefront and say “its ok that you feel like this, youre not a bad mother and its ok to get the help you need.”

    I think so many women hid their PPD out of shame and it had terrible outcomes. Stop with the “its just the baby blues” concept and focus on the mental health of the mother.

    On the same note, I appreciate how open women have become with the struggles around infertility and miscarriages. The support that is now being built around these struggling mothers is wonderful and much needed. It used to be such a topic of shame and hushed whispers, which helped no one.

    Sorry for the ramble, cold medicine has me feeling a certain way

  8. Mandymc says:

    I don’t how women suffer through that alone! After three weeks postpartum I had so much anxiety I wasn’t sleep, just in a constant state of fear. I couldn’t stand it one for day so I went to my OB and surprise surprise- I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety. I got on a super low dose of antidepressants and it was like I became a whole new person. New moms think it’s normal to feel this way, but it isn’t! Get help as soon as you can!

  9. Little Darling says:

    As a CLE, IBCLC, postpartum doula, baby educator and compassionate baby sleep coach, I wanted to link up some really great rresources, in case anyone needs them, or knows of friends who might be suffering in silence. Normalizing PPD is the most imporant thing, because these bouts usually have mamas feeling very isolated, shameful and alone.

    Our society today needs to do a better job of looking out for one another. The standard, “How are you?” to friends/family members after birth should be a much deeper, more meaningful question than it is. Let’s help people to know that there are safety nets out there for them. BE that net, if you have to. Offer to bring them home cooked meals, listen to them, encourage them, offer to babysit, but most importantly if you feel something isn’t right, simply asking her point blank, “Do you feel depressed?” is a good way to open the gates for her to allow her to talk freely. If she seems depressed, PLEASE encourage her to tell her health care provider, or sit with her and help her call her doctor, or seek out local resources.
    Love, Little Darling


    • Dj says:

      @ Little Darlling thank you for providing such great links to resources (mental health clinician here). Much needed!