Hayden Panietterie Opens Up About Life After PPD
Actress and animal activist Hayden Panettiere made headlines last year when she opened up about her decision to seek in-patient treatment for postpartum depression (PPD), not just once, but actually twice over the course of her daughter's first year and a half of life. Since then, I've been following Hayden with fascination, both because I love her career as an actress and also because I'm so in awe of someone who is so willing to speak up for herself — and for all moms in the process.
The decision to leave an eight-month-old baby (her daughter, Kaya, was only that old when she first sought treatment) could not have been easy and I think many people have the misconception that postpartum depression only strikes very new moms. But the truth is, PPD can hit anytime in that first year and it sounds like Hayden didn't have the easiest start to motherhood to begin with.
She talked to ET about her life as a mom, saying that she actually lost quite a few friends as a result of her pregnancy. That couldn't have been easy and I think many young moms especially can relate to that experience of losing some friends as you become a mother. Everything about your life changes overnight and sometimes, that loneliness and isolation can contribute to depression starting too.
Regardless of what Hayden's particular journey was, the important thing is that she knew when she needed to seek professional help and she was not ashamed to admit it. She made her health a priority and, since then, she's been an example of how important it is to take care of your own mental and physical health as a mother.
Not only has she scaled back on work, admitting that although she loves music and singing, she needed to put a hold on her singing career for the moment, but she's sought balance in other ways too. Although she doesn't keep a particularly active presence online (I mean, in comparison to say, the Kardashians), Panettiere does occasionally post on her Twitter page to update her fans about what's going on in her life and the pictures paint a portrait of a mother on a mission to healing. She has posted about her health journey after PPD, sharing everything from cute pictures of her adorable family to her outdoor adventures — it's clear Hayden loves the great outdoors and has done everything from swim in the Dead Sea to zip line across forests.
And of course, she has also prioritized one very important part of mental health: her sleep. Her last tweet was one that as moms, we can definitely relate to, when she talked about just wanting to be back in her “comfy” bed. Um, yes, all the time, please.
Hayden's life after PPD, like so many others who have gone through it, is about finding gratitude and joy in the small things, like simply watching over her two-year-old daughter and realizing that it is possible to be happy again, with the right support.
“I can't say that anything is typical or ‘the norm' about any day of the week now that I'm the mom of a 2-year-old,” she said in her interview. “She gets her hands in just about everything, and my biggest job at the moment is keeping her alive!”
Same, Hayden, same. We're just glad we're not alone!