Amanda Seyfried had a health scare during her second child’s birth

Amanda Seyfried has a new movie out called A Mouthful of Air. It’s about postpartum depression. I posted the trailer below. This is one of those things that’s a hard decision for me. I really want these movies out there and I want the discussion to happen. So I want to support them but I do not think I can watch it. That’s probably weak of me, but I’m still troubled by that time in my life and it’s hard for me to revisit. I do think it’s important for people to know what postpartum women go through. I’ll try to sponsor some tickets for some other people.

It turns out, the subject of birth and post birth triggered some trauma for Amanda as well. While doing promotion for the film, she admitted that either during or directly after the birth of her son last year, she experienced some spinal injuries that became a persistent health issue. She didn’t disclose the full nature of her issues, but she said that trying to care for her newborn and young daughter, Nina, while attending to her own health added trauma to an already stressful time in her life. And what’s even worse, Amanda said her injury “was tricky and it was painful and it didn’t have to happen.”

Amanda Seyfried is opening up about her most recent delivery.

At the A Mouthful of Air screening Sunday night at the Roxy Hotel in New York City, the actress shared new details with PEOPLE about the delivery of her baby boy last year.

“I had something that went wrong with my second birth. The baby was okay but it was tricky and it was painful and it didn’t have to happen, and it did so it added an extra level of trauma,” says the 35-year-old Oscar nominee, who also shares daughter Nina, 4, with husband Thomas Sadoski, 45.

Seyfried tells PEOPLE how she and her spouse juggled their two children while also grappling with her spinal challenges, “You just do. At that point, I’m very freshly out of the hospital, I had to feed him, my husband was with my daughter and I had people that could drive me back to the hospital.”

The actress shared the challenges of delivering a child that include the abrupt cessation of regular health care visits coupled with handling multiple medical invoices while recovering, “I went to the doctor every week at the end of my pregnancy and all of sudden it’s like, ‘Bye, here’s some hospital bills!’ I mean, I kept receiving them and I’m still healing from something.”

Seyfried revealed the positive current state of her health to PEOPLE, saying, “I’m okay. It was a very physical thing and it was a spinal thing, but I’m okay.”

[From People]

I started to look up what spinal injuries were common when giving birth but stopped because if Amanda wanted people to know what injury she sustained, she would have told us. Back injuries are awful because they affect the whole body. Plus, they’re scary because they may worsen to the point of paralysis. Amanda dealt with the pain of a spinal injury right after giving birth. And like she said, she was still in agony when they started stuffing bills in her hand. Thank God she money and the help of her husband and mom. Think of all those moms going through that without the extra money or help. I wish this country had a better system in place to help parents that need it.

Amanda said it was hard getting A Mouthful of Air made. Apparently, it took eight years and Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler to finally get the film into production. It’s set in the 90s, a time in which PPD was not discussed, as Hollywood Life pointed out. I feel strongly that this discussion needs to happen. I’ll find ways to support it. Here’s the trailer. It looks good. They made this for all the right reasons:




Photo credit: Instagrama nd YouTube

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54 Responses to “Amanda Seyfried had a health scare during her second child’s birth”

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  1. DuchessL says:

    What has she done to her face or is that too much photoshop? I hope she’s doing better. Births are really like that box of chocolate. You never know. I hope she’s ok.

    • Erica says:

      I follow her on Instagram. Her face is fine.

    • North of Boston says:

      It’s a little sad to me that the first thing posted on an article about a serious, traumatic health issue is about her superficial appearance.

      I know it’s Celebitchy, but come on.

      I know several woman who gave birth and came out of the experience with the sense that “their” healthcare team was not careful or mindful about *their* physical health and overall well-being once the birth process started, particularly when there were complications or surgical procedures involved. And they had lingering physical problems to deal with as a result, often with the weight of “this didn’t need to happen” like AS. It’s a scary thing during a very vulnerable and life changing thing for any woman.

      • Erica says:

        Yep, it pissed me off but I refrained from saying anything further than her face is fine. She is one of the few celebrities I follow on social media because she seems like a very ‘normal’ person. She is an actress as her job but that seems to be a very small part of her life. I hope she is okay. I don’t have kids (never will) but everyone acts like giving birth is no big deal when it is. Most of the people I know who have had children talk about what it has done to their bodies and how much things have changed (every woman I know deals with hair loss after giving birth!). I never even knew that was a thing until people around me started having children.

      • Concern Fae says:

        Part of this is the APGAR scores for measuring the health of newborns. Having this is so necessary, babies used to just die because doctors wouldn’t try to resuscitate them if they weren’t visibly healthy. But the fact that hospitals are graded on this measure means that mother’s health is being ignored and harm that could be prevented is not. There are devastating lifetime consequences for this.

    • Piratewench says:

      I think she looks really beautiful! Her looks are evolving, it happens!

  2. FHMom says:

    So what happened to her? It’s unhelpful to mention you had an injury to promote a movie but not tell what the injury was. Obviously, it’s her choice, but why mention it at all if you don’t want to inform or educate people?

    • Sara says:

      Perhaps it was really traumatic and she isn’t ready to fully talk about it yet, especially to strangers. Like you said, it’s her choice.

    • Betsy says:

      I get that she’s entitled to her privacy, but I am inclined to agree. Why bring it up if you’re not going to name it? The issue of OBs and midwives not really taking care of the mother isn’t going to get resolved overnight but specificity in celebrity stories helps.

    • North of Boston says:

      Isn’t it enough that she’s working on and publicizing a project that features PPD?

      Or does she, personally, have to tackle ALL the “things that can be hard, need to be fixed about childbirth in our modern societies” head on all at once no matter what’s going on in her life?

      It’s like when a person mentions they’ve been a victim of sexual assault and people want more details. People who have had difficult, traumatic personal experiences aren’t obligated to share all the details on someone else’s timeline.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I would speculate either coccyx fracture or perhaps injury from an epidural.

    • Tanya says:

      It’s a fine line. I had a somewhat traumatic first birth, and I was torn between wanting to let people know that it could happen to them and not wanting to needlessly scare them. Pregnancy can be stressful enough without worrying about low-probability complications. In the end I shared with those who weren’t prone to anxiety, but it wasn’t something I wanted to broadcast to the whole world.

    • tealily says:

      Maybe she didn’t want to over shadow PPD with her own health issue. I think it’s enough to say that issues are common (even I had one!), but keep the focus on the subject of the film.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Given how disabled people are treated in Hollywood (and most employers), that might be job protection she’s shooting for. If it’s created a permanent issue that she doesn’t want production teams viewing as a liability to take her own, she’ll want to talk around it, treating it with past tense terms rather than present tense ones. I have a GI disorder that technically falls under disability clauses if I want to out myself to an employer, but you can bet I click “no” every time.

  3. Sue says:

    Hecate, I am with you. I am so glad the discussion is out there and I want to see more discussion about getting treatment for PPD. I just went through a weeklong hospitalization, at my request, for severe PPD (Like, suicidal ideation) and I want other mommies to know that there IS help for this! I am feeling so much better after treatment and the psychiatrist who treated me, thank god, found the right medications for me to be on. I am continuing outpatient therapy and medication management. I am just so relieved to feel like me again and to be connecting with my baby again.
    But I don’t think I could watch this right now either. I just lived through it and it was so scary and dark. Ladies going through this, there IS light on the other side, I promise.
    I feel very lucky that we are living in a time when mental health is being discussed more, but we need to talk more about treatment for it and normalize it: getting help is no different than if you were feeling physically ill and went to the doctor to feel better. It’s the same thing. No shame at all in asking for help! There is also no shame in PPD: hormones and sleep deprivation will do a number on you. Childbirth is traumatic, even without complications like Amanda had. The complete and immediate change in your life can be traumatic even with the joy of having a beautiful baby. You are still a good mommy!

    • Boo says:

      I’m so glad you’re here Sue! Congratulations on getting the help and support you needed to get through that time. Thank you for shining a light on the issue. I wish you all the continued success in your journey!

    • Dierski says:

      @Sue, Thank you so much for sharing your story, and we’re all so glad you’re here!! ❤️

      I’m right there with you and Hecate, I don’t know that I’ll be able to watch this movie either, even though I support this conversation 1000% and hope that it continues to grow in awareness.

      My experience with PPD was lengthy after my son was born, and thinking about that time makes me feel proud of myself making it through an extremely dark time. Increasing the awareness around this can only be good, and the more people informed and keeping an eye out for signs of it, the better – the general isolation that many new moms experience after the dust settles and everyone goes home, it makes it even harder for those around you to see what you’re going through when your days are spent alone with a baby.

      The quote at the end of the trailer about the colors starting to return to her world fully slayed me. I remember finally feeling the cloud of darkness beginning to lift around me, noticing the breeze again, and the colors around me.

      New moms, please remember to take good care of yourselves! Reach out for support and help right away if you are struggling, because you are not alone.

  4. Bela says:

    I understand where she is coming from as I have a spinal injury from my pregnancy however mine is irreversible (my daughter is almost 3 years old). Long story short: I have nerve damage to my L5 and S1 which causes chronic pain not only to my back but also my left foot, toes and leg. I’ve had multiple MRIs, epidurals (with and without anesthesia), tried so many medications and it has been an extremely long, tough road. There are days I can’t bend down, walk or even move. I finally found an amazing pain management doctor, a physical therapist and therapist — all who understand and have experience working with complicated cases and am in a treatment plan that is working for me. I still have pain daily (the fun part about chronic pain) however, I’m able to somewhat manage it and enjoy life with my family as much as I can. I take it one day at a time and do check-ins with my doctor every 6-to-8 weeks. It’s a lot of work on my end but it’s worth it to get some life back. Spinal injury in pregnancy is no joke and something no one talks about because it’s not very known.

    • FHMom says:

      That is horrible, and I am sorry it happened to you. I hope you have many more good days than bad. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Veronica S. says:

      To be honest, I suspect birth/pregnancy injuries are massively underreported by both hospitals and women themselves. We majorly downplay how hard and dangerous it can be on the body, but I know at least two women in my own circle with long term damage from their pregnancies, one of whom nearly lost her life due to a hospital’s error during her labor. Deep down, the system still sees women as chattel on some level, viewing our bodies as a public resource above everything else.

  5. Tootsie McJingle says:

    I’m going through post partum depression right now. I don’t know if I could watch this movie because of it, but I’m glad it’s out there. Very few people in my life know that I’m even going through it. Not even my own mother, who I’m very close to. I feel weak and ashamed that I’m struggling to cope and I put on my super mommy mask when I’m around most people. Then when I’m alone, I just cry. I cry and feel overwhelmed and like a bad mom that I feel that way in the first place. I’m anxious and don’t sleep and have no energy during the day. I’ve started medication and me and my doctor are working on finding the most effective type and dosage. I think it’s important for people to know what PPD looks like. I hope this movie is an accurate portrayal.

    • Shawna says:

      That’s awesome you’re getting the help you deserve! Sincerely all the best wishes for you. I’m sure you’re a great mama, and you deserve to feel happy and capable of managing all the stuff a baby throws at you.

    • Sue says:

      Hi sister, I just went through it! Well I still am – I’m on medication and in therapy. Please know that you are not alone and there is zero shame in PPD. Being a new mommy is so much. Hormones are no joke. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby or that you’re not a good mommy. The fact that you are getting help shows that you are strong and an amazing mommy who wants to be there for her kiddo. I wish I could give you a hug right now.

    • NoNoK says:

      Tootsie- you didn’t say if you were in talk therapy or not but as someone who also has been crushed by the “I’m a bad mom” lie, I recommend finding a therapist you like. Covid has so improved the therapy game so you can do virtual sessions and you don’t need to organize childcare. I had PPD too and it took me years to get into therapy and start dealing with that dark time and the lies I told myself then (like that I almost died from a hemorrhage during childbirth because god knew I’d be terrible at raising kids). Don’t be me. Get those scripts in your head corrected as soon as you can. My heart goes out to you.

    • Rebecca says:

      I felt every word of this. I recently went into my OB eight months postpartum and just bawled. Medication is helping. This shit is no joke. You are a terrific mother. We can do this. Sending hugs.

    • Dierski says:

      Tootsie – you are amazing and strong for recognizing what you are going through, and I’m so glad you’re getting the help you need (it was hard for me to seek help). I cried constantly when I was alone as well, and I was surprised that few people in my life knew anything was wrong.

      You are a fantastic mom, and taking care of yourself is truly the most primary way to take care of your little one – its like putting your airplane oxygen mask on first, so that you can help others.

      Take care!!

    • Isa says:

      I don’t know if you will even see this because the article is a few days old, but I just want to send you love and hugs. ❤️

  6. Shawna says:

    The postpartum period is so hard. No one cares about the mother; it’s all about the baby, no matter what you’re going through. My doctor totally ghosted me, despite post traumatic stress anxiety. I’ll try to steel myself to watch this!

    • Betsy says:

      I won’t try to watch this; I can’t bring myself to watch this. I just cannot get over how our medical system fails people at so many steps, in so many ways and at some many levels. Someone (I know precisely who because it was family) gave me norovirus after my c-section. After we took our baby home from the NICU and he went to his first doctor’s appointment, I was just crumpled in a chair, not having kept anything down for a few days and the pediatrician just wanted to make sure that I was pumping and then gave me a TDAP. It took a few more days to get back to my OB and get diagnosed, by which time I almost needed to be readmitted for IV fluids. And that’s not even a serious example of how we get ignored as patients.

  7. Sue says:

    Shawna – my OB’s office did the same. I ended up finding my own therapist and own psychiatrist. I am the one who requested to be hospitalized because it got so bad. You matter very much! And I agree: it’s hard for women to say it out loud because it’s scary to think people will think we don’t love our babies. We do. But we need to love ourselves too!

  8. ShazBot says:

    I have a friend who had spinal issues post-epidural and it caused pain and migraines and took months of treatment to relent and heal. I don’t know if that’s what Amanda had, but it was awful for my friend and it was her first baby so she felt like she didn’t even know what she was doing in the first place.

  9. GrnieWnie says:

    I share her anger at the disparity of care for mother with/without a child inside her and just having bills shoved at her the second she gives birth. We’re all told we have to have monthly/biweekly/weekly visits to the doctor when pregnant. We’ve got all these guidelines in place. You can then go on to have a deeply traumatic childbirth with much damage and what do you get? A 6-week checkup that clears you for sex. Everything else, literally everything else about your maternal healthcare beyond that, is up to you. You are your ONLY advocate in this regard and when you’re a first-time mother or haven’t had to deal with these things before, it can be so tough to navigate especially when you’re still in recovery.

    IMO pelvic floor rehab should be mandatory, just as it is in France. And so much more. We should all get doulas and lactation consultants and all that. At a minimum. F* all these “prolife” life people…I’m so sick of the attitude that only the baby matters and the mother is just an afterthought.

    • Piratewench says:

      My loved one who lived in Germany got free pelvic floor recovery classes after the birth of her child. Everything about her experience of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in Germany has been amazing and like a dream come true, from my American perspective. I miss her very much but I am glad she’s in Germany for this chapter of her life, getting so much social support as a new mother.

      • Concern Fae says:

        That we don’t do this is beyond foolish. It would drastically cut the need for nursing homes. Incontinence is one of the main reasons for an older woman being admitted to a nursing home. Dealing with these issues right after childbirth would mean an improved quality of life for older women.

  10. Piratewench says:

    Hecate it’s ok if you skip the movie! Better to keep your peace of mind. I have certain topics in movies that hit too close to home, also.

    I was injured by the epidural and spinal with my first baby, which was a c-section birth. I have scoliosis so I’m not easy to work with, plus the anesthesiologist was just awful. I can still feel exactly where the injury is and I have ongoing issues.
    Maybe Amanda is not saying anything specific because she doesn’t want to scare anyone with the specifics. I don’t like to tell expectant mothers what happened to me because the chances of it are very low, and most women do not have a crooked spine to compound the problem. Epidurals are important and wonderful, and I don’t want what happened to me to keep a woman from feeling safe to get what she needs during her labor, so I don’t really share about it much. Maybe that’s where Amanda is coming from with not giving details.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      yeah I don’t share too much of my traumas as I think hearing about them makes women afraid but I do remember that this made me feel so isolated.

    • Betsy says:

      I ended up having something wrong with my spinal column after my first birth (c-section). i never considered that it might be an injury, I always just assumed it was something from being pregnant with such a huge baby.

  11. Lucy2 says:

    I’m really glad this movie was made, I think a lot of people are going to relate to it, and it should open up broader discussions.
    On a superficial note, she is incredibly beautiful!

  12. Suzybontime says:

    Sometimes the epidural will cause spinal problems, so it could have been something to do with that.

  13. Barbie1 says:

    Glad she made the movie. How awful that she and others had to endure such pain and stress. Hope she can heal all the way. She is beautiful and talented and should have had a better career. Trying to make it for 8 years ugh a shame it took so long.

  14. Vee says:

    I am glad she’s coping and getting better! The look of adoration on both their faces in the photograph of Amanda in the red gown and Thomas in a suit made my heart go pitty pat. Very lovely.

  15. Nicole says:

    After my second c-section, I was convinced I was having spinal headaches. I couldn’t do anything due to the pain. I finally went to the doctor after about 5 days and it ended up just being some post-partum, anxiety, and stress. But the struggle was real, I could barely take care of my newborn, thank goodness my sister was around. That was traumatic enough for me, I wish Amanda luck in her trauma recovery.

  16. Ann says:

    Sending good thoughts out to all of those posters who have struggled with or are currently struggling with PPD. I know how it feels. The hormones and the stress of caring for a baby or multiple children, plus a home, maybe a job? It can be crushing and people need to know and feel like they can talk about it and get help!

    Mine was not straightforward, it happened after my second child and it stuck around because I didn’t get the treatment I needed. This was in the 90s, when Amanda’s movie is set. Things have gotten better but they still need a lot of improvement.

    My daughter is a doula and lactation specialist, on the road to becoming a midwife, and seeing to the mother’s care and concerns before, during and after birth is part of the job. It’s such fulfilling work and I’m happy and proud that she is being part of the solution.

  17. Lunasf17 says:

    Reasons like this are why I think the midwife model needs to my normalized. My midwife came to my house for all visits, including post partum (why is forcing a new mom to drive to a doctors visit a few days after having a baby normal?). I’m glad we have hospitals for births that need medical interventions but healthy women often have way better outcomes at home and birth centers. Amanda is a wealthy, white actress and still is treated like this. Women of color, poor women and non English speakers are treated so much worse in this system. I don’t understand why every women in the US is pushed into a hospital birth when it’s not normal is many other countries who have much better birth outcomes than here. Our for profit system is garbage is is harming and killing many moms.

    • Ann says:

      I don’t think it’s being in the hospital that is the problem, but rather the care they get (or don’t get) while there, the way they get pushed out after two days, etc. Ideally birth would take place in the hospital just in case things go wrong, but women could also have a midwife or doula there, and be listened to and prioritized more. I agree about the pre-birth visits, though.

      I have a friend, a wealthy white woman in her 30s, who had every plan in place. A private room with a tub, a female OBGYN whom she trusted, play lists for every part of the process, etc. She ended up having a C Section after 20 hours of labor. She was in terrible pain, and had to practically beg the doctor for more medication. The nurse told her she was not going to help her stand up to go get the baby from his bassinet, etc. It was awful. And it’s way worse for so many people.

      • Your Cousin Vinny says:

        I had the exact same experience as your friend. I delivered my first child at one of the top hospitals in the United States, I naively assumed I would have great care. After a 72 hour labour, emergency c-section and lots of twists and turns along the way I was unsurprisingly exhausted.

        Despite the fact I had not slept for three days following such a lengthy labour and was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia all while recovering from both major surgery and the life-altering change of becoming a first time mum, I was treated like dirt by the nurses who refused to even help me swaddle my baby let alone give me a break from the constant lactation cycle they forced me into.

        They broke me and caused so much unnecessary trauma. I went home a shattered woman and it took months to heal. Beware giving birth at any hospital that proudly proclaims to be a “baby-friendly” hospital is all I will say. Baby-friendly is damaging to birthing parents.

        For my second baby I moved to a new state and found a new hospital that had relinquished the baby-friendly certification and my experience was heavenly! The nurses and doctors couldn’t have been more helpful and caring.

        A nurse actually told me they didn’t reapply for baby-friendly certification because “too many moms were dropping babies, they were so tired”. How terrifying!

        It’s incredible that even the most privileged people in society are facing shocking birth experiences in the United States. What does that say for our most vulnerable parents and children?

    • mel says:

      I am very against home births. I had a hemorrage post birth that almost killed me. Perfect pregnancy, baby and birth. No one saw it coming! Think god for doctor, ICUs and blood transfusions.

  18. StrawberryBlonde says:

    I will watch this movie. My son is now a little over 2.5 years old. I am pretty sure I had ante natal depression during pregnancy. My OB screened me and asked all the question but I lied out of shame. It wasn’t until it became full blown PPD that I called the doctor. I was sitting on my couch at 7 week pp, feeding my son and bawling as if someone had died. I had been dealing with scary intrusive thoughts since the first week he was home. I called my doctor that morning and it was treated like an emergency. I had an appointment later that day. Medication helped for me.

    Once it happened I talked about it with friends and found that almost every mom friend of mine had PPD/PPA, post partum rage, intrusive thoughts, etc. It is scarily common. I have a friend who just had a baby and I brought it up with her gently (before the baby was born) just so she would be aware and not feel as alone as I did.

  19. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I probably won’t watch. But I’m thankful young women are receiving messages and opening dialogues. On top of hormonal overload, c-sectioning another monster-sized baby into the world, the anesthesiologist had problems with the epidural. The first two tries sent me into outer space into a pain wormhole. Those two errors have haunted me for two decades. They are the nexus of my back pain, and doctors have become as useless as admin. Why be a doctor if you’re not going to BE a doctor and help with pain. All of them are scared little rabbits running for cover from the big bad pain medication monster. I do my exercises. I eat right. I take my vitamins. I try to stay positive (snort), but I still don’t last more than five to ten minutes washing dishes. Household chores are painful. If I don’t regularly do my elliptical, I’ll seize. So raise a glass to all the ladies who continue to hear that it won’t last, it’s just a hormonal phase, it’s part of childbirth, you’re overreacting, aren’t you being a bit of a hypochondriac? Frak ’em. Frak ’em from the moon to our planet’s molten metal core lol

    • Ann says:

      With my first labor, the anesthesiologist yelled at me when I twitched as he tried to give me an epidural. I was in the transition phase and I had no control over it. It was so unpleasant my. husband and I just told him to leave, never mind, I’d finish without it. Later one of the nurses (they were amazing) confided to us that this guy was known to be a jerk and that’s why they were gently suggesting I forego it, since I was doing pretty well. He just happened to be the one on duty when I was in labor.

      It wasn’t fun but I was pretty lucky. My first labor, with my son, was 12 hours (the average time) and not too complicated. My second was incredibly short, like less than two hours total, so no time for an epidural but at that rate it didn’t matter so much. But my daughter, whom the doctor had estimated was going to be around 7-7.5 pounds, was 10 pounds! Boy did he get that wrong.

  20. Lonnietinks says:

    I have PTSD from my first birth and I can’t watch scenes of women giving birth in films, it makes me physically anxious. I’m glad that these discussions are being normalized because I think that women for generations have been subjected to violence through birth and lots of women need to process these events, and for a long time people dismissed them.

  21. MarcelMarcel says:

    Hecate, it requires strength to recognise that you need space from a traumatic subject and find another ways to support open discussions. Like this thoughtful post you shared here and offering to shout friends tickets. I’m sure you’ll find another ways to be advocate for the people who’ve experienced PPD. My favourite goddess is Persephone by the way. I love your pseudonym.
    I think it’s fantastic Amanda fought so hard to get this made. Although it’s like the peak patriarchy that she did have to fight that hard. It’s just an important topic and open conversations are life savers.