Bree Williamson Wasn’t Prepared for Postpartum Emotions

01/29/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
Albert Michael/Startraks

Bree Williamson was prepared to welcome her baby boy McGreggor Edward, but she certainly wasn’t expecting all the emotions that soon followed.

“I was so shocked [about the postpartum depression],” the One Life to Live star, 31, tells ParentDish.

“When they described it to me in the hospital, they said you are either going to leave here happy or you’ll get it so bad you will need to go talk to somebody about it.”

In Williamson’s case, however, her experience included a bit of both after arriving home with McGreggor — whose moniker pays tribute to her mother’s maiden name — eventually leading to “three big cries a day” that lasted a week.

“I was so shocked to get these mood swings after I gave birth,” she admits. “You get upset when you get home and you start thinking, ‘Oh, my God, I have to go talk to a therapist because maybe I will become withdrawn.'”

Fortunately, Williamson didn’t have to look very far for help; She praises husband Michael Roberts for being a strong support system in the days after their son arrived.

“My husband was there and he was great,” she says. “I had to remind myself, you are exhausted, too … I was having a great time with my son … but there was a period where I would just start crying for no reason.”

Now, with the family having settled into a routine, things are still tough, but 4-month-old McGreggor’s “awesome” smile makes the struggles worthwhile.

“It is really, really great, and, at the same time, really, really hard,” Williamson shares. “But I have to say it is so wonderful and I am having a great time.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Sarah on

I cringe about the people who say PPD isn’t “real” even my Dad won’t admit it’s real. I was one of those people who insisted it was more the Mom’s fault for shutting herself away after birth. I was so excited when I had my son because I had waited for 5 yrs to conceive and just knew it would be wonderful.. when my Midwife spoke to me about PPD I blew it off because I just knew it was going to be perfect since I wanted my child so much.

Well 3 weeks in I had a meltdown and I never did come out of it until 6 months later. PPD is so very real and I am glad to hear women speak out about it more.

cris on

Just from the information that is presented in this article, this seems to be a slap in the face to woman who really have/continue to suffer from ppd for longer than one week after their baby is born.

Holiday on

That must be so awful to have ppd, im sure you feel very alone and ashamed to admit it. I was worried about ppd with both of my kids, but luckily I never had it at all.

Amanda on

I’m with Cris, baby blues are normal after you have a baby. Crying 3 times a day for a week would be considered baby blues. I had postpartum depression after my oldest and I didn’t even know it was postpartum depression until my baby was 3 weeks old, when I could hardly bring myself to leave my dark room and I was crying almost all day, every day because I felt like I was doing everything wrong and my baby hated me. I’m so thankful that I did not get it again after my 2nd and 3rd children because it was something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

K C on

Shedding a few tears over a period of one week is most likely a symptom of baby blues, as a result of hormonal fluctuation. That is different from Postpartum Depression, which can be debilitating and last for months. PPD can require counseling and/or medication, and doesn’t disappear after a week. The link below takes you to an interesting article, and here is an excerpt from it:

“New moms, especially with a first baby, usually feel some anxiety and difficulty coping… Their sleep is being interrupted, they’re stressed, emotional, crying for no reason, but that lasts maybe two or three weeks. Beyond that, those are symptoms of postpartum depression…”

Read more:

Lisa on

Im glad PPD is being talked about more and more these days.

I remember asking my ob/gyn about PPD because I was struggling. It took a lot for me to admit my symptoms to him only to have him reply.. ‘PPD is just a mother that is upset because the attention isn’t on her anymore, its on the baby.’

Needless to say, he isn’t my doctor anymore.

Laura on

@Cris I don’t feel it’s a slap in the face at all. She was just sharing her personal experience. She was able to recognize the signs quite early and she had her husband’s support- that could be why it lasted only a week. I was diagnosed with PPD following a miscarriage and it lasted almost three months. However, I wasn’t diagnosed until I had been suffering with it for over two months. After I recognized the problem and talked about it I came out of it.

Sarah on

Lisa, I’m so sorry that happened to you! What an awful thing to say!

Etsy on

The baby blues and PPD are different. The emotions and fear, anxiety etc might be similar, but PPD lasts longer…. A few days or slightly longer ‘baby blues’ is very very common and usually ‘disappears’ a short time after the birth and returning home.

Please, if you think you have PPD or the baby blues, tell someone. It’s terrifying to feel so awful after an occasion that is supposed to be so happy and joyous, but it doesn’t last forever.

Corey on

Thank you to everyone who clarified the difference between baby blues and true PPD. As someone who suffered from PPD following each of my sons’ births, I was rather perplexed by the week of crying considered to be PPD. All the pamphlets at my OB’s office say that if baby blues lasts more than 2 weeks, it might be PPD. There is a difference!

To those who have also suffered or are suffering, you are wonderful and strong. Always seek help. You and your family DO deserve happiness.

LisaS on

I just LOVE the way her son is smiling up at her! How utterly adorable and precious!

Jill on

I think it’s great that she is talking about it.

Also I love when thru finally explain the reason behind the childs name. What great meaning! I went back and read some comments…….I guess people were wrong….she does know how to spell:)

B.R on

I don’t find this to be a slap in the face as Cris but I am with everyone else. If you feel like you have the baby blues or PPD please talk to someone, anyone. A good friend, a doctor, your partner, just please talk about it. The bio-mother of my son didn’t and she ended up killing her daughter, husband and almost killed my son. If PPD was talked about more in the media and the doctors were taught more about it, and the mothers also knew more about, it may have saved my son’s father and sister, and saved him the trauma that he had to go through. And even though I thankful every day to have him in my life, and that he choose me as his mom, I would give him up in a heart beat if it meant that he would feel no pain and would have gotten to grow up with his baby sister.

Any media attention, education sharing out there is a good thing, regardless if it’s a true case of PPD or just baby blues. This is something that should be talked about more.

Lisa I am glad that you were able to talk to your doctor about and that you saw what he said to you as wrong and left. Many women wouldn’t have been strong enough to do what you did. Most would have just said “ok” to the doctor and gone home. I am glad you didn’t and ended up getting the help you needed from someone else. I wish you and your little one all the best this world has to offer.

KF on

Still don’t like the name, whatsoever. It’s a terrible last name,
(let alone first name for a child.) I hope they shield that kid from ridicule when he enters school.

Angi on

I think any attention that can be brought to PPD is good.

jessicad on

PPD can be mild or severe, we all experience it differently. That first week home with a newborn will definitely kick your ass physically and emotionally! That’s great she has a supportive husband who was able to help, and love the name!

Kewky on

@ B.R. Oh my gosh! How terrible!
And my sympathies to anyone with PPD.

Angela on

“When they described it to me in the hospital, they said you are either going to leave here happy or you’ll get it so bad you will need to go talk to somebody about it.”

I don’t think it’s so black and white. I think there are lot of grey areas in the middle that you can also feel when you leave the hospital.

hayley w on

its all very grey and with my first i truly didn’t understand how bad it was going to be and i felt very alone … i didn’t know how ill i had become untill 15 months later i had my daughter and it was like a cloud had been lifted.

over night i felt like me again , i just din’t feel sad any more and it was magic, just because your not locked in a dark room crying doesn’t mean your not suffering with pnd or post tramatic stress and i was.

every one is so quick to asay what having babies does to your body but no one says what it can do to your mind.

Liesl78 on

Just wanted to give kudos to her husband for being so supportive. I had the baby blues and my husband was the worst companion possible over that time, complaining I was whining, overreacting, etc. It was a horrible feeling. I’m glad more is talked about PPD nowadays. I have a close friend who had PPD for 4 months or so. The way she described it was ‘a trip to hell & back’.

Abby on

REALLY guys???

…just, REALLY???

Someone is not suffering from enough PPD for you???

I’m pretty much speechless. I’ll never understand the need to be so negative all the time.

To me, it seems somewhat evident when she says “things are still really tough but I have to say they’re great” that she is NOT completely over her post-partum depression and you guys are all just…mean isn’t the word. Absolutely mindboggling sums it up.

Amanda on

Abby- I have 3 kids, it’s always tough, and it’s usually great. That isn’t a sign of lingering postpartum depression, obviously she’s not afraid to talk about it so I’m assuming she’s talked with her dr and if she still had it is on medication.

I didn’t say she didn’t suffer from it, but giving the idea that crying 3 times a day for a week is postpartum depression? Yeah, that’s a slap in the face for someone who suffered for months before getting on meds that worked and even then, they didn’t make me feel anywhere near ‘normal’. Baby blues is normal and it’s not some kind of “I win, I had it worse”, they are just two different things. Comments about crying a few times for a week being postpartum depression just go to maake people think postpartum depression isn’t as bad as it is. I wanted to drive my car off a bridge, that isn’t normal and that isn’t something someone with baby blues would think, nor something I would ever imagine doing in my normal state of mind.

CelebBabyLover on

Okay, I just re-read the article, and NOWHERE does Bree state that crying three times a day for a week is PPD. In fact, the words “Post-partum Depression” were not even mentioned in the article! All she said was that she was surprised at how she felt after the birth, and that she felt like she should see a therapist.

Also, if she DID think she had PPD, maybe she honestly didn’t know the difference between the baby blues and PPD? I think we really need to give her a break here!

Etsy on

Abby, people are merely saying that PPD is different from baby blues! They are not belittling the way that Bree feels or felt, but pointing out that they are different! A new mother should not go into full panic mode (thinking she has PPD)because of a few days of crying and up and down emotions…but if it goes on for longer than a few days or weeks, it really needs to be addressed. I read the posts as people being concerned, but happy, that Bree is probably not suffering from PPD! Give US a break!

Justeace on

Why do people insist on projecting someone’s experiences onto themselves? Bree was talking about HER, not you or your best friend or your sister or whomever. She was talking about what she experienced. She wasn’t making light of anyone suffering from PPD she was explaining how she felt after her son was born. Everytime a celebrity opens there mouth tons of people assume they are talking about them specifically. She doesn’t know you and has no vested interest in making you feel slighted regarding your experiences with PPD. Get a grip people this is a fluff article letting people know a little bit about her and her newborn not an article in a medical journal describing how PPD really feels. Geesh!

Jill on

Cbl, maybe you need to reread the article….because the words ppd are mentioned by Bree. She also said she did cry 3 times a day for a week. So it DOES say it!!

Alice on

Nope Jill, when it’s in [ ] it means she didn’t say it, they added it to make the sentence understandable. Maybe it was mentioned earlier in the interview and she did say it, maybe they just filled it in to describe the way she was feeling.

Abby on

Justeace, so in agreement. Can’t believe the pissing contest on here between moms who had very severe PPD and Bree Williamson, who seems to have suffered from a less terrible bout of it. But I think the term ‘baby blues’ is, by definition, at least when using a thesaurus, EXACTLY the same as post-partum depression. Using ‘baby blues’ to lessen the issue of how a new mother feels when she pushes a watermelon out of her does not seem responsible. Bree’s doctors were responsible when they told her “if you feel like this, talk to someone right away.” Because if any sort of mental illness goes undiagnosed, very serious things can happen. Duration probably isn’t important. Severity is of course very important, but every mother is different and I find it incredibly sad that the first thing people do is claim she’s ‘wrong’ or assume she’s just a celeb looking for attention by exaggerating her situation. She’s clearly NOT, but people are so sensitive sometimes. And I think of all the battles in the world, WHY choose this one? Should it not be valued that someone is willing to talk about PPD, no matter how severe? Mental illness isn’t a game, and I for one am really happy to see Bree admit that she didn’t have this completely perfect time of it post-partum. It takes courage to do it, and for goodness sake folks, it’s NOT a contest! The bottom line is that EVERY mother goes through a different situation for the entire child-rearing process, their lives driven by different factors, which is WHY I can’t believe the negativity and how quick to judge someone admitting some form of mental illness, however mild.

Jill on

Alice, She did say it (which is my point)….read the full article. Not the cliff not version here and you will see that she did say it. CBL says she doesn’t say PPD and if you read the article you will see that she DOES say the words PPD.

CelebBabyLover on

Jill- Okay, I didn’t read the whole article. I didn’t realize there was more too it. I also never said that she didn’t say she cried three times a week. But I realize I may have been a bit confusing with how I worded it. What I meant was saying you cried three times a day for a week is not the same as saying you have PPD.

But I realize now that she did say PPD in the full article. But anyway, like I said, she may honestly not know that what she experienced actually qualifies as the baby blues, not PPD. I just don’t think she deserves to be jumped all over!

Jill on

This is what it was based on CBL
“Okay, I just re-read the article, and NOWHERE does Bree state that crying three times a day for a week is PPD.”

I never said that the crying three times a day for a week is PPD according to Bree, although based on reading her explanation of her experience that was how she see it. All I said was….
“The words ppd are mentioned by Bree. She also said she did cry 3 times a day for a week.”

You don’t think she deserves to be jumped all over…..yet you are saying that she didn’t really have PPD. Well, I bet she will never share her story again!! I know I wouldn’t. Everyone telling her she doesn’t know what she is talking about it.

DD on

I have 2 children and after my first was born the nurse only mentioned hormone levels would be altered from birth and production of breastmilk and that it could cause mood swings…never did she say ” you may find yourself crying your eyes out locked in the bathroom at 3am with chapped bleeding nipples from a week of poor latching and a newborn screaming with colic, oh and make sure you have a lot of family & friends who can be supportive and someone to talk to if it becomes an emotional roller coaster!” Geez!

It is so real and I truly feel for the women who are shell shocked like I was and exhausted from sleep deprivation and needing just an hour of sanity and a shower & sweet sleep. Glad to hear of more celebs talking about the zombie like state PPD can throw you into and that there are people who can help and that your hormones are all over the chart after giving birth and it is so important to have that chemical balance and sometimes it takes women longer to get it all leveled out and life back on track.

To all the women who may be going through this now , please seek advice and help from your Dr. and share with anyone who is supportive in your family or close circle of friends, having someone to talk to and give you the needed breaks can be a huge help. You aren’t alone!