Hayden Panettiere, whose daughter Kaya was born last December, is getting treatment for the postpartum depression she’s talked about publicly in recent weeks.
“Hayden Panettiere is voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment center as she is currently battling postpartum depression,” the “Nashville” actress’ rep said in a statement Tuesday. “She asks that the media respect her privacy during this time.”
Only a couple of days ago, Panettiere, whose fiance is Wladimir Klitschko, sent out some sunny words on social media: “Feeling like I’m #finally coming back in to my own body! mother #daughter #blessing #wellworthit,” she tweeted Saturday.
But at the end of September, she’d said her “Nashville” character’s PPD was something she could “very much relate to,” that “a lot of women experience.” (The show wrote her pregnancy into its storyline.)
“When they tell you about postpartum depression, you think about, ‘OK, I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure my child, I want to hurt my child,’” the 26-year-old said Sept. 28 on “Live With Kelly and Michael.” “I’ve never, ever had those feelings -- and some women do -- but you don’t realize what broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on.”
Kelly Ripa observed briefly that there seemed to be shame attached to PPD, and Panettiere concurred, but expanded on that notion.
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding,” the actress said, “and I feel like there’s a lot of people out there who think that it’s not real, that it’s not true, that it’s something that’s made up in their mind, and oh, it’s hormones, and they kind of brush it off and ... it’s something that’s completely uncontrollable, and it’s really painful, and it’s really scary, and women need a lot of support.”
The emotion in Panettiere’s voice had grown gradually deeper as she spoke, but she regrouped to end on a positive note.
“Women are amazing,” she said. “We do something that no man can do on this planet. I mean, we grow a human being in our bodies!”
The term “baby blues” typically describes the typically mild sadness felt by about 80% of women in the week or two after giving birth, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. PPD, however, hits a bit later, lasts much longer, is experienced by about 15% of women who give birth and “usually requires treatment,” the NIMH website says.
In the weeks following Kaya’s birth, Panettiere talked to People, saying with a laugh, “I’m limping around. I’m still trying to figure out what [pregnancy] has done to my body, how it’s changed it. ... I know some things will never be the same again.”