Bryce Dallas Howard ‘Pretended’ Perfection After Son’s Birth

07/22/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Jason Merritt/Getty

When Bryce Dallas Howard discovered she was pregnant a week after tying the knot with Seth Gabel, the actress was elated.

“I loved being pregnant. Yes, I threw up every day for six months, and yes, the stretch marks were (and still are) obscene. But I treasured every moment I had with this new life growing inside me,” the Eclipse actress, 29, writes in the latest GOOP newsletter.

Although the state of bliss continued throughout the pregnancy, those feelings suddenly came to a screeching halt moments after Howard delivered her son Theodore Norman.

“Nothing. I felt nothing,” she reveals. “Memories of the following events are hazy. I remember that I suddenly stopped feeling pain despite having been stitched without anesthesia.”

Leaving the hospital only 45 minutes after Theo was born, Howard refused to take any pain medications for fear of affecting her ability to enjoy her newborn. And despite the challenge walking posed, the new mom admits it was nothing compared to her breastfeeding battle.

“For me, breastfeeding was even more painful than giving birth. And despite a lactation consultant, I felt incompetent,” she recalls. “I forged on, barely sleeping, always either breastfeeding or pumping and never getting the hang of it. Occasionally I drifted off for a few minutes, but that decision to ‘feed at all costs’ left me no room for recovery.”

The signs of postpartum depression were all there — including referring to Theo as ‘it’ and emotional breakdowns — but Howard managed to hide it all from her family and friends by keeping her feelings bottled up until she was alone.

“For the sake of those around me, including my son, I pretended, but when I began showering again in the second week, I let loose in the privacy of the bathroom, water flowing over me as I heaved uncontrollable sobs,” she reveals.

Believing to be a “rotten mother — not a bad one, a rotten one, because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear,” the severity of the situation reached its peak when Howard’s friend stepped in. “It wasn’t until my ‘shower breakdowns’ began to manifest out in the open that people began to worry,” Howard explains.

Eventually a visit to her midwife — and a trip to the doctor — allowed Howard the help she needed. And in addition to “a homeopathic treatment plan,” the actress admits it was her dive back into the entertainment industry that allowed her to begin the healing process.

“The experience was serendipitous, just the material I needed to work on to help me to reconnect to my true feelings. In those weeks, a critical shift occurred,” she writes.

“Then one day I was sitting in my home with my best friend and sister and out of nowhere I got this sudden feeling of summer. I searched for a better way to describe my feelings, ‘I dunno, I just got this feeling … like everything is going to be okay.’ My depression was lifting.”

Now a happy mother to a 3-year-old toddler, Howard is quick to point out her battle with postpartum depression is something she will never forget.

“Do I wish I had never endured postpartum depression? Absolutely. But to deny the experience is to deny who I am,” she states. “I still mourn the loss of what could have been, but I also feel deep gratitude for those who stood by me, for the lesson that we must never be afraid to ask for help, and for the feeling of summer that still remains.”

– Anya Leon

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Heather Lynn on

Oh my goodness, kudos to Bryce for sharing with us the story of that very hard time in her life. I can’t imagine going through that kind of battle! She is a very strong woman. I’m glad she could overcome her postpartum depression to enjoy raising Theo.

Nan on

Thank you, Bryce, for sharing this!

ILuvPerfectParents on

I saw her in Eclipse, she did great for the little time she was in the movie. LOL Back to the article, I am so glad she spoke about this to let others know that there is nothing to be ashamed about when you suffer from postpartum depression and you can get help and overcome it. I could only imagine how she must have felt but I’m glad that she overcame it and now can really enjoy motherhood. Bravo article Bryce!

Kristin on

I too suffered from postpardum depression after the births of my first and second sons, and always struggled for the right words to really convey what it was like. Bravo to Bryce for sharing her story, it’s definitely worth reading the entire essay by clicking on the Goop link!

Ellea on

I’ve seen her in interviews, she seems so witty and composed. Very respectable young woman and she seems like a great mother these days! I’m glad she beat her battle with depression.

noam on

what a wonderfully written article about such an awful subject. bryce dallas howard is one of my favorite actresses.

wondering though (and this is not a criticism): why/how did she leave the hospital 45 minutes after giving birth?! where i live, there is a minimum 24 hour stay…

Lorus on

Kudos to her for being so open. I went through something similar with my first born. I had a really bad birth and didn’t feel connected to my daughter at all. Breastfeeding was so difficult as I had flat nipples and I have very little support. I made sure all of her needs were met but I felt horrible. I, too, would cry in the shower where no one could hear or see. I hid my depression from everyone and it eventually went away when my daughter was about 8 months old. I wish I was brave enough to seek help but I felt I would have been a failure.

Years later I found an amazing man, got married, and when I was pregnant we talked often about what I went through and what I felt I needed in order to beat PPD. I was very open with my midwife and doctor and they went above an beyond to make sure I had a good birthing experience as well.

I hope (if she chooses to have another baby) that her experience will be different the second time around.

shay on

I had post partum depression for two years after my baby was born. Everything from hallucinations to resenting the baby. It was the scariest thing ever…

amw on

how refreshing to have a celeb share her own real, personal reality about motherhood. its SO important to know that not everyone has the same instant bliss experience and that mothering comes in all shapes and sizes and in its own time. you arent horrible because you get scared, frustrated, exhausted, and occasionally disappointed. thank you bryce!

Anonymous on

Thank you for being a voice on such an important issue. It takes courage to share this information and from one survivor to another, I appreciate your honesty and openness.

helen on

I liked reading her story but she is not telling the whole truth. How can one go from overjoyed to feeling nothing? She MUST have felt something, some sort of sadness, anxiety, guilt, something to make her depressed. You don’t become depressed for no reason. She is not stating WHY she was, the feelings or reasons behind, but thats for her to know.

ILuvPerfectParents on

Helen,
Just because you or people you know personally haven’t experienced postpartum depression that went from one extreme to the next doesn’t mean that others have not. All postpartum depression symptoms are not the same from woman to woman. I haven’t experienced postpartum depression but I can’t tell someone else that I don’t believe they’ve experienced it just because I have not or because I have never heard of the way they experienced it. If she was this open, what would honestly be the point of her lying? Or maybe she didn’t want to get into the specifics of what else was going on. Who knows?

MissMissy on

Helen–A lot of the time, depression (postpartum and other) can manifest itself with feelings of numbness. That’s why, in the DSM IV, it classifies “diminished loss of interest or pleasure” as a symptom of depression. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily feel “sad”, it means that it’s possible to feel nothing. How it manifests is different from person to person.

Stef on

Going from being elated to feeling nothing is also what happens to someone who has bipolar disorder. Being someone who suffers from this on a daily basis, I know that it’s very difficult to endure. However, on the right medications and the right therapy, it is controllable, as is postpardum depression. I’m curious what kind of homeopathic remedies Bryce used.

Lu on

I had the exact same ‘shower breakdowns’ with my firstborn. 8 years later I can still remember that pain so acutely. Good for her for being so open about such a common experience.

HeatherRR on

noam ~ It depends on the hospital. She stated she had a midwife so, she may have gone to a Birthing Center attached to a hospital. It’s owned/part of the hospital but they have their own way of running things that is unlike the typical hospital way. My good friend went to one here where I live that is attached to the side of the hospital. She was able to leave and go home 1 hr after birth.

melissa on

Helen.. I think that is the biggest part of postpartum.. it just happens, one minute your doing ok, and then next month you realize how sad you are, how bad it hurts, how much you have cried.. there is no reason or any signs as to why it starts, it just does.. and she worded it very well.. its good to read about others experiences..and to try and learn from them

Rach on

I agree with ILuvPerfectParents, Helen, with every woman it is different. I had a very similar experience to Bryce, and boy did I lie on those tests ! I had this idea that they would take my baby away if I was truthful, especially after seeing it done to other women.

My experience was no coldness towards my baby, I absolutely adored him, my experience was just full on depression. I honestly believed if I wasnt depressed to begin with, the hospital staff that I dealt with made damn sure I was depressed by the time I left. I have a very young face so sometimes people think I am much younger. They treated me like I was incompetent, some unwed teenager with a mixed child. I would walk into the NICU and the staff would be standing there saying nasty things about me, which would stop after I walked in. To make matters worse, a friend had her baby the same day, so it seemed like a constant reminder when people visited etc at how much of a failure I was, that her baby was there and mine was not.

One nurse in particular,Julie at McMaster Hospital, gave me the hardest time. I also had tears and stitches and I was recovering from preeclampsia. My legs from thigh to ankle were the same size and swollen like tree trunks. I was not released from my ward because of so many health issues,so it would be a rat race in being at my ward to get my constant bp checks and medicine etc, and walking out of my ward, down the hall out of my ward,over a walkway, down another hall to get checked into the NICU, and down another hall to a ward on the near end. It was painful, tiring, and to do it over and over and over again. It seemed like I was always late for someone. My nurses would be complaining to me, and then they NICU nurses would be complaining to me.

I had pumped, just to make sure there was something to feed my baby if I was late, but the idiot nurse was so pro breastfeeding that she refused to do just that, even though I had said numerous times, I was planning on pumping and breastfeeding and supplementing with formula. I felt like I had to fight with her just to get my way. And especially since my baby was underweight with low sugars from exposure to the medicine they gave me when I went in and for him being a month early.The things my poor baby had to endure. He still has the scars on his feet from the prickings after feedings, where they would squeeze the blood out into a test tube. If he had been on formula, none of that would have been necessary they finally told me. Just this experience alone completely changed my outlook on breastfeeding, so its not a wonder I gave it up at 4 months,because everytime I did anything breastfeeding related, it brough on so many negative emotions and memories.

I was late for one feeding and I walked into the NICU with Julie and the staff saying nasty things about me,standing in a circle gossiping, because god forbid she used the pumped milk.I actually begged my doctor to release me early, so I could please that nurse.The only way he agreed was if they gave me a bunkroom, so I would still be in the hospital if something were to happen to me,which they did. I remember spending the time my baby got his first bath in the bathroom in agony trying to have my first b.m. after baby,bleeding and crying all over the place and stinging from the stitches. And yes, they were nasty that I was not there.

I felt so useless, and I probably came off as cold because I was just bottling so many emotions.Even my mother could not believe that I didnt just start screaming at the nurses, because I have a carribean temper naturally. I felt so stifled inside myself. Finally one night after returning home, my husband made me dinner and came back into the room to find me bawling into my plate of steak and potatoes. All the emotions that I hid, and cried on my own, came flooding out.

Honestly, if it wasnt for the few nice staff I met, I would have never ever gotten through it, particularly three nurses Chris, patti and Hannah, who was not my nurse, but she was so supportive and gave me the best advice.

Lindsey on

Her honesty is refreshing! She is going to help a lot of women by sharing her story. I can relate to so much of what she went through. Mainly crying in the shower. Thankfully both of our stories had a happy outcome.

Janna on

noam… There is no law that says you have to stay in the hospital a minimum of 24 hours. The law says that the hospital must not make you leave for at least 24 hours. Some people don’t want to stay. The hospital can’t *make* you stay.

Andrea on

Good for her for being brave enough to talk about it. I have two biological sons, and I didn’t have PPD with either of them, but I had severe and stark PAD, post-adoption depression, after adopting my daughter. People are even less brave to talk about that, because we feel we don’t have the “excuse” of hormones. But it is very real, and very debilitating. The sobbing in the shower, the not calling the child by name, the wanting to dissappear when you look at your child – I did all that. It was accompanied by acute insomnia (think sleeping 1 to 3 hours a night for six weeks, often going several nights in a row with zero sleep), and when I began to sleep again is when I began to recover. My lovely daughter is now 4 years old and a delight. I love her and can’t imagine our family without her. I mourn those early months with her and what could have been. But it is what it is, and I have moved forward, and I share my experience with other newly adoptive parents, in case they are experiencing it too, and are afraid to tell anyone.

Amanda on

Thank you so much for speaking out on your situation- the haze that you can go through after giving birth….the crying spells, no sleep and then with me I had a husband who had emotionally (and eventually physically)left me. I felt hopeless and helpless. I’m so glad you made it through and you are a BEAUTIFUL woman and a new favorite actress of mine.

lisa on

Thank you for writing this. I know that when I had this PPD with my third child it felt like I was in a black and white movie and one day the color came on. I cant remember a lot of the months with my daughter but I remember trying to find a way out of the B&W feeling. There were times I could not function get out of bed or even walk outside. I worked very hard on reading materials how to avoid this with my fourth preganncy. I so far just have raging hormones my son is four monhts of age. Thank you again. I felt so all alone like a failure. It affects so many women.

Misty on

I went through the same thing as you did, it is good to hear someone else admit that PPD does happen to anyone. I was so ashamed to admit that I was so depressed, but when I did it really helped. Thanks for sharing!

Molly on

Thank you for sharing your story, Rach. I, too, had an infant with many feeding problems. Because I was so constantly inundated with “pro-breastfeeding” propaganda, I did my best to exclusively nurse, even though my daughter (born at a low birth weight) was struggling to gain weight and cried constantly. We met with a lactation counselor twice a week and a physcial therapist once a week to help with her nursing. The feeding plan the lactation counselor put me on left me exactly forty-five minutes to sleep/shower/go to the bathroom/eat between feedings. There was no bonding for either of us–we were both too exhausted and frustrated. When I told my daughter’s doctor what was going on at her two month check up, she handed me a can of formula and told me to get some sleep. I made her her first formula bottle that afternoon–she ate it happily with no screaming and we both got three hours of sleep–my first three hour stretch in two months.

There was nothing more I wanted when I was pregnant than to nurse my baby. It wasn’t meant to be and our lactation counselors lack of understanding did unbearable damage to my relationship with my infant daughter. My other two children breastfed easily and happily and I’m happy to report that our formula fed child is as happy, healthy and joyous as the others.

Wanda on

My sister has been stressed out and cranky since she had her daughter — 11 years ago!! It’s like the PPD never went away. But really I think it’s just the stress of raising a kid, losing her income, being stuck at home so much (they gave up the second car when my sister quit working), etc.

And thinking that every other woman LOVES the experience and thrives on it … it’s the biggest lie. Nobody wants to admit to the struggles.

And people wonder why I don’t want to be a parent. Some of us are just not very patient or resilient and we don’t want to inflict that on a child. I feel sorry for my niece.

My dad was the exact same way, and clearly that was not caused by hormones. He had no patience and he did not enjoy us after we were toddlers. Babies and toddlers are very easy to enjoy! They don’t ask hard questions.

Parenthood is not for everyone. I wish society didn’t place such unrealistic expectations on women, equating babies with pure bliss. If we judged less, and were more realistic about parenthood (not all balloons and giggles), these poor women with PPD wouldn’t feel they had to LIE to their doctors!

Sherri on

In Canada if you have a midwife to birth your baby then you can leave the hospital as soon as you are ready. I give her credit for her honesty. I too suffered a postpartum depression after the birth of my first daughter. I felt nothing for her and nobody could do anything for her, only me. Then one day I looked at her and I was overwhelmed with a love for her. I didn’t realize I even had post-partum until it was over and I realized how out of sorts I was. I never experienced it for my second child.

Grace on

Kudos to Bryce for her honesty. Postpardom depression is that dirty little secret no one tells you about after giving birth. You feel shame and embarrassment as if you did something wrong. Unless you have had it, you can’t understand what it is like. As women we should help each other instead of being critical about whether or not a persons experience is “non” typical of depression. It’s different for everyone. I went through it with my first child and I can tell you it’s horrible. You feel like a giant gray cloud hangs over you head everyday. And happiness is not even an emotional you can tap into during that period. So the more we hear about it, the better it is for the rest of us, so we can better understand the condition and treat it accordingly to each woman’s needs.

Mira on

Just one word of caution– not feeling anything while being stitched up has NOTHING to do with post-partum depression. That’s a perfectly normal part of the birthing process and has to do with your overstretched muscles, rather than with post-partum depression. What a silly, silly thing to say, Bryce.

Mel on

I too suffered from PPD after my first child. I couldn’t eat, drink or sleep. I wanted nothing to do my baby and trying to breastfeed only made it worse. If I saw a baby in a commercial I would have to change the channel. I too remember the day that the feeling of pure darkness lifted. I love how Bryce said it was a feeling of Summer. I felt a feeling of warmth and light come over me and I wanted a homemade cookie. Within minutes everything felt dark again, but I knew at that moment that maybe, just maybe the depression was lifting. It gave me hope. Thank you Bryce for sharing your story.

Lucy on

Thank you Bryce for sharing your experience. Reading her story felt as if I was reading my diary. My son will turn 5 the end of this month, and I can honestly say, having recovered and enjoying every-single-day of my beautiful boy–the shame that comes with having post-partum or not being able to breast feed–and feeling nothing after a childs birth–never goes away. I am grateful to Bryce and Gwenyth for using their celebrtiy as a platform to speak up about something that can happen to any woman. In response to Helen–I too felt “nothing.” And feeling nothing after childbirth is one of the scariest feelings in the world.

Brandi on

I had horrible postpartum depression for 9 months but then one day it was like a fog lifted. It was an amazing feeling. I felt like I could literally feel the fog all around me go away. I think they need to warn women of this prior to the birth so they are prepared. With my second son, I knew what might happen and when the “baby blues” hit I let myself feel them but recognized that it was part of the process and it wasn’t me going crazy. I think being armed with the knowledge helped me ride the wave and it was over in about 3 days.

Susan Lewis on

Helen- Postpartum doesn’t announce itself, you don’t get a warning. The feelings of worthlessness sneak up on you. The ‘nothingness’ I attributed to exhaustion, post-delivery. I wanted my daughter more than life itself, since I was little. I should have been euphoric. Not the case. Hormones play a big part. Thanks to Bryce for sharing. PS – she sure has a good resemblance to her Dad.

Lisa on

I was incredibly moved reading this. It made me cry, but it also made me more determined and aware.

Stacey on

THANK YOU for helping to break down the wall of PPD, making it something that one should not be ashamed of. I too suffered from PPD, had depression and PPD OCD. I too cried in the shower while putting on a happy front in front of others until, like you, it was no longer just in the showers but in front of others that the uncontrollable crying came. With the help of my amazing husband and a psychiatrist I was able to manage my PPD/OCD and enjoy my baby and my life. Again, thank you for bringing attention to this. It is people like you who will help so many mothers suffering in silence.

Ashley on

I had depression somewhat after childbirth. I didn’t have luck with breastfeeding (low supply). He was also screaming non-stop from stomach issues, so I was very depressed. I just beat myself up and felt inferior for not being able to breastfeed b/c I wanted to so badly and others were able to around me. When I finally gave up and gave him formula, I felt so much better. I wasn’t enjoying my son and the little milk I was able to give was not worth me not enjoying our first few months together. I would give any mother the advice to not feel guilty if you can’t do it. You’re still a good mom.

Jenn on

Kudos to Bryce for sharing her struggles. There’s such a stigma attached to PPD. It’s REAL and it’s scary. You feel hopeless and if you say anything to anyone, you fear judgement. Couple that with no sleep and the breast feeding problems, and life is just miserable.
I had PPD with my first son. I had trouble with breast feeding and consulted La Leche League. They told me, and I quote, “Only bad mothers feed their children formula. You must breast feed your child at all costs.” I hated them for that, and still do to this day. They compounded the problem and made me resent my child every time he cried because he was hungry. I finally decided to go the formula route after he spit up blood due to my cracked and bleeding nipples. He is now 17 years old, 6’3″, and healthy as a horse! My PPD eventually went away but came back with my second child, only not as severe. But this time I was ready for it. Whether you opt to take homeopathic remedies or antidepressants, no woman should EVER feel like a bad mother (or be told she is a bad mother) for having PPD.

Tony on

“…this sudden feeling of summer.” What a wonderful phrase for how coming out of depression feels.

Tara on

The hardest transition in life for a woman (in my experience) is becoming a mom. I have a 12 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old. Had anxiety after each one. The hormones that drop significantly after the baby is born, pain of giving birth or having a c-section, and lack of sleep are a bad combination! Don’t ever be scared to ask for help from those around you. I learned after my second child (he was emergency c-section) that I needed my husband with me for 2 weeks after he was born. We planned for him to be at home for the first 2 weeks our 3rd and final child was here. I didn’t want my mom (love her, she is anxious too – not a good combo), I needed my husband, my partner. (The hormone switch from pregnancy to nursing is not fun. Nursing is not for every one. You have to know your limits. Try your best to enjoy the moments you have with your children. Life is about balance. Thank you, Bryce for sharing your experience.

Sarah on

Thanks for sharing this article! I too had PPD after the birth of my first child. We had tried for 5 yrs to have a baby and I never imagined it could happen, I told my Husband before we got pregnant that I thought women who had it just didn’t get out enough blah blah blah.
My baby was born and my first week was awesome and then.. the lowest I ever felt. I didn’t want my baby near me but I didn’t want anyone else touching him either. I had terrible thoughts of things that could happen to him, even flashes of images in my head.. so scary.
He could be crying that horrible newborn cry and I’d tune him out and feel absolutely nothing at all.
I’d lay in bed and be so completely empty feeling.

Thank goodness now I feel like I am myself again. My husband was a great help and took up where I left off with the house and cooking and care for the baby.

Southampton Mom on

Of course, every woman should get the help and treatment she needs after birth. It’s the most emotional times a woman faces. However, I feel like she could’ve given herself a break- not taking pain medication, leaving after 45 minutes, being so hard on herself with breastfeeding. Of course she was going to exacerbate her depressive symptoms with all that stress. For women who don’t have the resources to try the best homepathic medicines etc, please don’t be scared of using prescription drugs. Your doctor will help you figure out the lowest dose. There’s no need for anyone to push through it and pretend.

hayley on

I think its really brave when any mum admits they have ad struggles with any part of motherhood, p.n.d too, I don’t think i ever sufferd fron that but maybe post traumatic stress from my sons birth, I only really realized how ill i was when i gave birth to my daughter and she ‘cured’ me and i remember feeling happy and it s almost shocking because i tought the way i felt was just how it was going to be forever.

my son and daughter are 14 months apart and its sad to think i cried every day after having son and i didn’t no i was ill and if i had of just gone to see some one it could have been cured ir a least explained to me. even now i struggle to talk about how had my son and watch emergancy c sections on tv with out crying, hmmm they never put that in the baby books do they lol. well what doesn’t kil you makes you stronger :D

Its worth it for my two angels xxxxxxxxxxxx

Michelle on

I also had PPD after my son was born 3 1/2 years ago and I remember seeing Bryce in an interview back then after her son was born and I said to myself, she has PPD. I could just tell by her face, her actions, how she spoke because I had also been going through it. I’m happy she came forward and told her story. It makes it less “taboo” the more people talk about it.

Elle on

Bryce has always seemed mature for her age. She’s clearly learned a lot from her Hollywood upbringing (Father is actor, director & producer Ron Howard) and focused on a great acting career instead of being a spoiled brat. From this article, not only is she intent on sharing her talented acting skills with the world, but also the realities of marriage & motherhood. She’s definitely someone to look up to in today’s industry. Thanks for keeping it real girl and being a positive role model!

Anne on

As a nurse, and a mother, I am glad she was able to get help; both medical and homeopathic, and heal. Just make sure Tom Cruise doesn’t find out! haha

kagl on

That was beautifully expressed and will likely strike a chord with many women. Very kind of her to share her experience.

tammy on

I really like jer I’m glad she shared her experience.

sly on

This need to breastfeed “at all costs” is ridiculous. I understand that breast milk is best, but for some women, the emotional scars it leaves when it doesn’t work, for whatever reason, isn’t worth it when you consider that today’s formula is much better than it was in the 60s’. I’m glad Bryce is doing better and enjoying her son … as she should!

Wonder on

I often wonder if postpardum depression is linked to our own childhood. As something was explanined to me, if you have a traumatic childhood but never come to terms with the emotional or physical abuse that you had suffered. You have a baby and you look at this baby and say, ok how do I raise this baby and you start thinking about your own childhood and then depression sets in. I myself didn not have post pardum depression but suffered from post traumatic stress because of the horrible delivery that I had.

Andrea on

This is the first article I’ve read In People in a long time that had sustance. That didn’t seem cheesy or insignificant. Felt like a real story and a touching one.

Jen on

Women today are very lucky in that postpartum depression is now a recognized and treatable illness. When I went through it after my second child, there was no diagnosis other than depression. There wasn’t much help either and eventually my marriage fell apart. How wonderful that she had people to support her during that difficult period and how wonderful of her to share her story.

Crystal on

Mira-I think she was feeling numb all over from everything that happened after the birth. Just no real connection with anything. What a silly silly thing for YOU to say. Also RUDE! This woman is spilling her guts about her battle with postpartum and you criticize. I’m truly disgusted by your comment and also offended.
Bryce-Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you nothing but love and happiness with your family!! :)

Ruth on

A well written article and I am delighted that she made a full recovery.

I was really shocked by the fact that she left the hospital with her baby after 45 minutes! It is no wonder that she was totally exhausted and wasn’t prepared to breastfeed. In my country all women who choose to give birth in a hospital receive two nights stay as part of the national health service. During that time the mother can leave her baby in the central nursery at night to ensure that she gets a few hours sleep. She receives instruction and help with breastfeeding and basic care of the baby. It is a pity that women feel that they HAVE to breastfeed because sometimes it just doesn’t work and that doesn’t matter! I breastfed my three children years ago and my daughters fed their four children as well but bottlefed babies develop very well and if it is such a hassle, then the bottle is better than a mum struggling to breastfeed without success.

Of course even with such help there are women who suffer from depression and they need medical help – it’s not something that disappears by itself. Sadly many women suffer without getting sufficient help during this stressful but amazing time in their lives.

I wish Bryce all the best.

Rev. Meg on

It takes a strong woman to overcome any kind of depression, but I pray especially for those going through post-partum depression. I chose not to have children because mental illness runs in our family, but as a former nanny, infant toddler care worker and preschool teacher I have worked with the most helpless members of society for many years, and many have to depend on mothers who simply cannot care for them due to depression. To the mothers I say: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. To the husbands, boyfriends and families of these women I say: Give these women the help they need with caring for the child, and help them find a doctor to help with the depression. If the mother of the child is not doing well, the child is not doing well. Nothing is more important than the welfare of that child…not your job, not your social life, not your other obligations. Bless all of you out there who are mothers, you are raising human beings, and there is nothing more important than that.

diane on

Rach I know how you feel. I’m went through PPD with my two kids and I still feel like I’m going through it still and my kids are 4 & 2yrs old. There are times when I’m happy and they are times when I cry myself to sleep. With my 4yr old I was told I was getting a girl then when my baby was born it turn out to be a boy. I cried and even tried to commit suicide because I thought I was a failure on couldn’t give birth to a girl. Then my second child came and I decided I didn’t want to know what sex it was. Even though it turn out to be the girl I wanted I felt nothing. I had no help up to this day from family members, friends or my kids father. I love my kids with all my heart but I still feel the depression and feel like a failure in any way. I’ve asked for help and no one seems to be listening or taking me seriously. I attended my son’s first promotion to kindergarden this past June. I was so proud of him and felt even prouder when he said he’s happy that I came to see him. I told him as long as I have will and still breathing I will be there every step of the way. I’m trying to overcome my PPD but its not easy when your doing it on your own. I vow never to have any more kids due to this experience. I’m bless with my two and I’ll cherish them for the rest of my life.

L. Liz on

Rach,
Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear that you were treated so poorly. You should consider suing that hospital for allowing you to be treated that way. That is inhuman and intolerable.
I’m she shared her story. I hope it helps women out there.

Kristy on

Kudos to Bryce for telling us about something that isn’t talked about as often as it should. I too, suffered from Postpartum. I lost the first 3 months of my sons life, I missed that bond. I’m still trying to get that bond back, even a year after. I had to go to a behavioral clinic, and most of the time, I felt so ashamed. But I learned that it’s not us women who should be ashamed, it’s our whole society that should be ashamed. Not many people actually support women who have PPD, a lot of us have to deal with it on their own. Thank you again Bryce for sharing your experience with us.

Mira on

I’m not criticizing. I’m pointing out the obvious.

Bryce says: “I remember that I suddenly stopped feeling pain despite having been stitched without anesthesia”.

But the fact is that whether you’re feeling pain or not when you’re being stiched up has NOTHING to do with PPD. Ask any doctor and they’ll confirm.

Crystal, do you want pregnant women who read this article today to freak out after they give birth and to think that they have PPD when they realize they also felt no pain while being stitched up? Would you be disgusted then? Even if only one woman freaks out on account of this article, I’d be disgusted.

The article is irresponsible from a medical standpoint, because it makes it seem like there’s a link between numbness to pain from stitching and PPD when there is none. End of story.

Molly on

Bryce, You rock! Thank you for your honesty about how life can be after childbirth and your struggles with breastfeeding. It is not always the most natural thing, and the pressure we put on ourselves as mothers with pumping and latching on is crazy. Once I accepted formula is okay, I became I much better and happier mom to my kids. I’m glad you are brave enough to tell the truth and good luck with Theo!
PS – You were a great Victoria in Eclipse!

Terri on

This article had me tears. It reminded me of when I went through a depression several years ago. It was so long ago, but still so fresh. I’m glad that Bryce had the support of family and friends to make it through her depression.

Elizabeth on

Great article. I suffered the same things, right down to the shower breakdowns, after my second child was born. It was a scary time. I hope that by sharing this any new moms reading this and experiencing similar symptoms will look for help. You are not crazy or broken or bad. There is help available, look for the kind that is right for you.

Jennifer on

I absolutely love BDH – she is a sensational actor, and seems to be so well put together. She was the best Victoria that Summit could have ever picked for Eclipse ( :

To hear she went through such a hard time is saddening. I feel so bad for her, especially seeing how she went at this alone in the beginning. That must have been terror. It is good though that she finally got the help she needed.

I can’t wait to see her in more films ( :

Crystal on

Mira-Again you’re missing the obvious point of the article but if you’re too blind to see it, I’m to tired to point it out…..AGAIN! Smh!

Molly on

The kid is three already?! Wasn’t he just born?! I swear I would have guessed that her kid wasn’t even a year yet. I just can’t keep up.

Mira on

I’m not missing anything. She was emotionally numb, I get it. The point is that emotional numbness has nothing to do with physical numbness in this case. The physical numbness is totally normal. And she’s implying it’s not. End of story. I’m tired of explaining something that’s so blatantly obvious. But hopefully it brings a bit of correction to this sappy article.

Nathalie on

Mira, read the article again. And again, if you have to. It’s obvious to me that she wasn’t trying to equate physical numbness with PPD. She wasn’t trying to say that those two things correlated at all! She was simply drawing a parallel, you see, that she was so emotionally numb that even her physical pain receded into the background of her conscious experience. That’s not so hard to understand. There are other pains, post-childbirth, that are physical other than being stitched up. Headaches, backaches, rectal pain, breast pain, pelvic pain, the list goes on and on. And as a matter of fact, sometimes emotional numbness can have quite a lot to do with physical numbness, even though Bryce was obviously NOT trying to imply that physical numbness is abnormal. Did you have her experience? No, I didn’t either, but being a psychologist, I’ve observed this sort of scenario many times. Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m glad that she shared her story. I just think it’s sad that you think it’s “sappy.” Of all the things to pick apart and complain about, you choose to do so about an article dealing with post-partum depression? I hardly think that anybody is going to automatically think that they have PPD immediately after delivery simply because their vaginal area is numb. For one, most women have anesthesia of some sort and are numb anyway. Delivery without medication is the exception, not the rule, especially in this country. Your thinly veiled insults of Bryce and her experience, which you try to disguise as concern for other women, are obvious, and it’s quite sad that you would find some sort of pleasure in pointing out the “flaws” in another woman’s tale of brutal honesty and even more brutal emotional trauma.

kmb on

Mira-
You are correct that the emotional numbness and the physical numbness are different, but I don’t think anyone reading the story is dumb enough to think that not feeling pain when being stitched up after birth means she automatically has PPD. And to call this article, which I’m sure was emotionally difficult for Bryce to write, “sappy” is just mean-spirited and thoughtless.
Grow a heart.
(I know, physically growing a heart and emotionally growing one are different.)

MiB on

Mira, you are absolutely right that physical numbness is normal after childbirth, but I have seen depression make a friend of mine physically numb as well, she seriously didn’t notice stepping barefoot on a big piece of glass, requiring 3 stitches. The doctor at the ER stitched her up and sent her straight to the psychiatric ward with the motivation that if her depression had gone far enough to make her physically numb it was not under control (especially since she did have a history of self mutilation). I am not saying Bryce actually felt physically numb due to her depression, the way she says it seems to me as if she meant it as a way of describing her mental state. Anyways, I am very glad that she found her way out of her depression.

Rach on

Thank you guys so much for your support. It is something I wish none of us had to deal with, but it is comforting to know I was not alone. Your stories also touched my heart <3 I am a pcos sufferer so my situation was one that cut really deep.

Molly, I too think all this craziness about breastfeeding is unnecessary. It is almost like you are supposed to feel like less of a woman if you had a section or if you had difficulty breastfeeding,which is ridiculous.

Diane, big hugs to you, you have overcame alot and should be so proud of yourself !

Also, I suggest if any of you havent already, check out the business of being born. What a great and informative movie !I wish I had seen it before my son was born. I had tried to get a midwife, but was turned down and sent to a specialist because of my health issues. It was informative though for me to see that my birth story did not need to be that way,had I stood up for myself,which I didnt feel ok to do. I was trusting and thought that they knew better, but found out after that all they did was make a bad situation worse.

Also Mira, I can understand what Bryce is saying. I experienced the opposite, but the same numbness. After my son was born it was like I had this massive rush of adrenaline. I kept talking and wouldnt stop, it was like I was hyper, I didnt even notice them stitching me, and I didnt feel much else. I couldnt wait to get off the table and as soon as they did, I was up walking around all excitedly. Maybe it was distraction, I dont know, Apparentely, this is very commmon with many women. So to experience the same feeling with emotional numbness, I understand.

Also, I understand the need to share your opinions, but it is quite rude to ridicule the way a woman words things, or her experience, when she is baring her soul to you about such a sensitive issue. Much love to all of you out there !

Nicole on

I do like the way that Bryce described a “sudden feeling of summer.” I also experienced postpartum depression after my daughter was born, and for me, it wasn’t a “sudden feeling” per se, but a realization that things didn’t feel so …winter-y. Even after things didn’t feel so dark, there were (and, frankly, still are) dark moments. It took quite some time for the depression to completely subside; it tried to creep back into my psyche. Just when I finally felt better and normal, my dad died, and it sent me into a tailspin. :(

Summer819 on

This bring tears to my eyes. To admit there is a problem takes a lot of strength – even if you try to hide it, but you’re caught having a meltdown…to not lie about the depression takes courage. After my second child, I had no idea I had PPD. Things were great after my first, so I assumed it was just the lack of sleep and adjusting to two children. Emotional meltdowns, sudden mood swings, an overall sadness…this went on for 6 months. I didn’t recognize it for what it was, but I was lucky in that a friend did and suggested I call my ob/gyn. My child is now 9.5 months and I still feel the occasional mood swing and am not sure when I will be comfortable with controlling my emotions without medication, but I know I’ll get there. Thank you Bryce and other celebrities for being open about your PPD experiences. Even though a woman knows it’s not uncommon, it’s still a very lonely feeling when those closest to you may not understand.

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