Chrissy Teigen fears she'll suffer from postnatal depression again

Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend.
Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend. Photo: Shuttestock

​Chrissy Teigen's second child is due in a few months, but as a previous sufferer of post-natal depression she's understandably nervous about suffering the same fate again. 

Speaking at a conference in Los Angeles on Saturday, Chrissy said, "Do I worry about it with this little boy? I do.

"But I also know that when it does happen – if it does – I'm so ready for it. I have the perfect people around me for it."

As a mum of three who suffered from post-natal depression with my first two babies, I know the fear Chrissy is speaking about. When I was pregnant with my third child, I was consumed with ways I could try to avoid falling into that hole again.

I did a lot of reading, and ensured my diet was clean and that I was exercising and meditating every day. And, like Chrissy, I had a great network of people around me to help if it did happen.

Chrissy has been open about her struggle with depression after her daughter with husband John Legend, Luna Simone, was born in 2016.

She admits she initially found it hard to come to the realisation she had post-natal depression, because she knew she was in an "incredible" position, with a great family, support network, and resources.

"I didn't know I had it. I knew that I was personally unhappy, but I didn't think that anything was wrong with it," she said.

"I just assumed that that's the way it goes – you have a kid, you're sad, you lose those endorphins and that's the way it is."

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Around one in seven Australian mums will suffer from post-natal depression, and if you've had it in one pregnancy, that chance goes up to around 30 per cent for subsequent pregnancies.

But Chrissy feels that, having gone through it once, she and those around her have learned a lot, and are more prepared.

"I do wish that more people had spoken up around me," she said.

"I encouraged anyone who sees something around them to point it out. It took me to finally sit myself down because I think it's hard for people to point something out."

I know for me, my husband was more surprised than anyone when I told him I was depressed. I had been working so hard at soldiering on and appearing to be okay, that I fooled even those closest to me.

Chrissy says her husband John Legend, as well as her support network of family and friends – were instrumental in helping her to recover.

"[I was] really realising that just because I was blessed in all other aspects doesn't mean that my brain realised that," she said. "It's such a separate thing from what your brain realises and it's a true chemical imbalance."

Eventually Chrissy visited her GP, who told her she had post-natal depression.

"I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better," she said.

"I just didn't think it could happen to me…but postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn't control it.

"And that's part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky and weird saying aloud that I'm struggling. Sometimes I still do."

That's the biggest lesson I learned – and one that I took into my third and final pregnancy: you have to be prepared to put your hand up and ask for help.

I was ready to do that, but was lucky with baby number three that I managed to avoid post-natal depression and really enjoy my third baby's first year. Hopefully Chrissy will have better luck with this baby too, but if she does need help again, she's ready, and she's got her support network in place.

If you think you, or someone you know, might be experiencing postnatal depression please seek help from a medical professional or call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.