- Kylie Jenner mentioned in a new interview about dealing with postpartum depression.
- Postpartum depression is a common mood disorder that can affect women after giving birth.
- Jenner said she dealt with depression after giving birth to both of her children.
Kylie Jenner has opened up about her struggles with postpartum depression — a mood disorder that affects people after they give birth.
Jenner, 25, had her first child, Stormi, in 2018 and her second, Aire, in February 2022.
In an interview with Vanity Fair Italia, Jenner said she experienced postpartum depression after both pregnancies.
“I have experienced it. Twice. The first time was very difficult, the second was more manageable,” Jenner said.
Jenner continued to share advice with other new moms battling postpartum depression.
“I would tell those women not to over-think things and to live all the emotions of that moment to the fullest. Stay inside that moment, even if it is painful. I know, in those moments you think that it will never pass, that your body will never be the same as before, that you will never be the same. That’s not true: the hormones, the emotions at that stage are much, much more powerful and bigger than you,” Jenner said.
There are multiple factors that contribute to postpartum depression.
“It results from a combination of postpartum hormonal imbalances, chronic sleep-deprivation, stress, and not having enough social support,” Dr. Jessica Madden, MD, a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist and medical director of Aeroflow Breastpumps, told Healthline.
During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels are high, and after delivery, they plummet to normal levels, which can lead to significant mood changes.
For many new parents and parents-to-be, childbirth can trigger feelings of despair, loneliness, emptiness, and hopelessness.
“Many women with postpartum depression have feelings of guilt and that they are ‘bad’ mothers. In severe cases, they may feel that their babies would be better off without them,” Madden said.
Postpartum depression varies from person to person — some will develop mild symptoms, others will have more severe issues.
While these feelings — dubbed the “baby blues” — often dissipate within a week, they can turn into postpartum depression if they persist for more than two weeks.
“Postpartum depression is a very understudied complication of pregnancy and there is a lot variation between how it is experienced by different women,” Dr. Suzy Lipinski, MD, a board-certified OB/GYN at Pediatrix Medical Group, said.
Though many women who develop postpartum depression do so within days after giving birth, some don’t develop
Furthermore, some people don’t develop postpartum depression until their second or third child, says Lipinski.
People who have a history of depression face a heightened risk, as do those who have an unplanned pregnancy, complications during pregnancy or delivery, lack of social support, and financial insecurity, according to Lipinski.
“However, many women will not have any of these risk factors,” she noted.
Women may feel ashamed that they don’t feel more positive during what they think should be a joyous time.
“There is stigma and shame surrounding postpartum depression, in large part, because mothers often believe there is something ‘wrong’ with them for getting postpartum depression and feeling unhappy when they have a new baby,” Madden said.
As a result, many women delay care and never ask for help.
“By speaking about her personal experience with postpartum depression, Kylie Jenner is helping to ‘normalize’ postpartum depression and also spread awareness,” Madden said.
The attention also helps educate people about various health conditions and lead to advocacy for research, treatment, and care.
“The more moms-to-be and new moms know about what to look for and what treatment options are available, the better the chance they will seek help when it is needed,” Lipinski said.
New moms experiencing postpartum depression can often feel isolated and alone.
“The only way to reduce the stigma is to talk about it and show where women can get help,” Lipinski added.
For those with a history of postpartum depression, there are preventative steps that can be taken during future pregnancies to avoid going through it a second time, says Dr. Sherry Ross, MD, an OB/GYN at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
“Seeing a therapist throughout the pregnancy is the first step in taking control of your emotions,” Ross said.
Ross also recommends building a strong support team — including, when possible, your partner, therapist, healthcare provider, and other loved ones — who can help you cope.
“Women suffering from this type of depression need to acknowledge and be communicative on how they are feeling and use their support team regularly,” Ross said.
Antidepressants — like Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft — can also be prescribed.
Some people may need to start taking them 36 weeks into their pregnancy so the medication has enough time to kick in before the baby is born.
“Treatment of postpartum depression includes a combination of drugs including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and psychotherapy,” Ross said.
Exercise can also improve mental health, relieve stress, enhance sleep quality, and alleviate depression and anxiety.
According to Ross, 30 minutes a day of walking may provide enough “feel good” hormones to mitigate some of the symptoms of postpartum depression.
Recovery can take between three to six months — and, sometimes, even longer, says Madden.
“It’s so important you get your rest, ask for help and know with time and patience postpartum depression will resolve but it is something you should never experience alone,” Ross said.
Kylie Jenner shared that she dealt with postpartum depression after both of her pregnancies, though she says the first pregnancy was more difficult than the second. Postpartum depression is a common condition, affecting about 1 in 9 new moms, however, a strong stigma often prevents people from asking for help. By speaking up about her experiences, Jenner can shed light on the condition and hopefully encourage others who are silently suffering to open up about their issues and ask for help.