Sarah Michelle Gellar reveals she had postpartum depression after first baby


I’ve always liked Sarah Michelle Gellar well enough but since I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer at your insistence (thank you all, btw), I’ve come to see her as part of my squad. I tend to keep my eye out for news on her but I was especially interested when I saw she’d spoken on postpartum depression following the House of Representatives passing the AHCA. On Tuesday, Sarah posted this to her Instagram:

Just a quick note – I think that is supposed to be where you can find your rep. I was glad to see so many outlets picked up this story. I find this a very effective posting – simple but resonant – and agree with everything she said. I liked how Fit Pregnancy closed out their article on this:

Politics aside, we have to applaud this actress for getting real about a difficult issue, reaching out to other women in need, and educating fellow moms about how new policies will affect treatment of postpartum depression sufferers. Fellow moms are voicing tremendous support in the comment section of (Sarah Michelle Gellar’s) post: “Thank you for using your voice:) We need to stand together, especially in this climate,” one follower wrote. Another added: “Wait.. PPD won’t be covered? I haven’t seen the list of everything and I’m blown away by this right now.”

No matter which side of this you’re on, it’s important that we all understand that treatment is often the very thing that saves postpartum depression and anxiety sufferers from truly terrifying fates. We believe this is something that’s absolutely worth fighting for, and we can’t commend Sarah enough for illuminating the issue.

[Fit Pregnancy]

I don’t know how to frame my thoughts on this other than using my own story so forgive me stealing the spot. I suffered from the Baby Blues after the birth of my first child. The reason I differentiate between the Baby Blues and postpartum is because my hormones seemed to rebalance three months post pregnancy, almost to the day. I, to my discredit, did not seek treatment, thinking I had to suck it up like all the mothers before me. What I did have, however, was Brooke Shields who was promoting her postpartum experience in her book, Down Came the Rain. I am so indebted to her. When she spoke, I heard my own dark and horrible thoughts. I thought I was a monster, I really did. But hearing someone else say they had had similar, horrifying mental images, it was a relief I hadn’t known prior. Sorry to go so dark on the Friday before Mothers Day but I wanted to stress how important it is to hear someone else vocalize your truth when you think there is something wrong with you. So I applaud Sarah, Hayden Panettiere, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, Chrissy Teigen, etc. who’ve become someone else’s Brooke Shields. To try and tie this whole thing up in a positive, full circle way – my son and I made it through with only a few proverbial faded scars from that time. As we begin to navigate the rough waters of his adolescence, we have found a new way to bond, one just he and I share: we are watching Buffy together – no joke. We’re in season five (just got rid of Riley) and we flip-flop daily on our favorite character. I’m not allowed to watch without him so I find myself shouting frequently, “finish your homework so we can watch Buffy, dammit!”

I haven’t tried Sarah’s new cookbook yet but I have a hold at the library for the next copy returned. Of course, her adorable husband of 15 years, Freddie Prinze, Jr., has been lovingly supporting her as always. I adore them as a couple.


Photo credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images

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12 Responses to “Sarah Michelle Gellar reveals she had postpartum depression after first baby”

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  1. detritus says:

    You started Buffy! Riley was the absolute worst. What a boring cardboard cutout of a man. The seasons get a bit darker from here on out though.

    I’m glad more celebrities are talking about ppd. it helps normalize the feeling and the treatment, so hopefully more women will get the help they need.

    • Diana B says:

      I have just started season 6 of my rewatch and OMG, what f*ckboi Riley was. I hated him so much 😒

  2. CommentingBunny says:

    ” I, to my discredit, did not seek treatment”

    Please don’t be hard on yourself. It is so hard to recognize when you need treatment when your own mind is working against you.

    Thanks for this inspiring post. The more we all talk about our mental health experiences the less stigma there will be.

    And my heart just breaks for Americans. There is so much gleeful cruelty in your current government.

  3. astrid says:

    Happy Mother’s Day and thanks to all the mother’s that share their experiences. It takes a village

  4. teacakes says:

    Be kind to yourself, Hecate! I have all the sympathy for you, Sarah and any woman who goes through this – and I can’t believe this AHCA, it’s horrifying and I feel awful for the people about to be affected by it.

    Also Buffy is brilliant. I feel so lucky to have grown up with it during my teen years, and so thrilled that the fandom has so much love for it even fifteen years after the final season. (Also I don’t hate Riley, Buffy needed the ‘normal boyfriend’ experience to work out that it wasn’t what she wanted. And at least he was never a stalker unlike Angel and Spike. Single Buffy is still the best though…. especially in season 5. But keep the tissues ready!)

  5. dr mantis toboggan says:

    Yay for watching Buffy! I also highly recommend Angel too.

  6. Jess says:

    Good for Buffy. I suffered from postpartum OCD after my first child, which you don’t hear about enough. I was always afraid I was going to hurt my child and I was too afraid to get treatment because I had only heard of depression, not the OCD twist postpartum, so I was afraid they would take my child away from me if I told anyone.

    • astrid says:

      Hopefully all turned out well for you.

    • Mltpsych says:

      I had postpartum anxiety disorder. I am in the mental health field but had never heard of it. I knew enough to call my doctor and get medication. No one talks about postpartum anxiety, OCD or psychosis. These are all real and treatable. At least docs do talk to you about PPD.

  7. kimbers says:

    I am choosing not to have children and feel bad for all the moms that get depression and blues ☹☹ wish there was something more that could be done.

  8. Lucy2 says:

    I’m at the exact same point in my rewatch!

    Hearing how Brooke’s openess helped you makes me want to punch Tom Cruise super hard. But I’m glad for you it helped, and grateful for all women in the public eye willing to speak up.