Shay Mitchell suffered severe prepartum depression at the beginning of her pregnancy. Prepartum depression is still stigmatized and Pretty Little Liars actress, 32, wants to help the discussion.
Prenatal depression is often confused with hormonal changes. Of course, the same changes affect depression. Still, prenatal depression is very real and it can be even worse than postpartum, according to some research. While Shay Mitchell looked carefree when she revelied she was expecting, the reality was different.
Mitchell said: “As long as I can remember, I’ve heard about postpartum depression. However, to be depressed at the beginning came as a shock. The isolation and anxiety I experienced was crippling. I thought I was going out of my mind and questioned why nobody ever talked to me about this phase. I’ve been fortunate since sharing the news of my pregnancy to have some amazing conversations with other pregnant women and moms and know that all these feelings are normal.”
“Usually, I’m incredibly active and outgoing, but instead, I mainly stayed home to avoid stares and questions. I was extremely lonely,” the actress explained to Hatchland. “On top of that, I was gaining weight without having a noticeable bump. I became paranoid that my team was giving me the side-eye (not knowing I was pregnant) and thinking I should hit the gym — which added to my loneliness.”
Mitchell continued: “Feeling that I was alone in my depression compounded my state of mind, but I have found since sharing the news publicly that many women feel as I did. … Pregnancy can be a hard time, especially if you’re having to hide it. After I came out publicly, I felt an enormous wave of relief and was finally able to start enjoying the pregnancy.”
The rising star shared her experience with miscarriage, another topic no one seems to dare to discuss. Now, she is expecting a baby girl, the couple picked out a name, but not a birth plan. Shay said: “Honestly, there’s no such thing. It’s not up to me how she decides to enter this world. My only plan is to have Matte stay above my shoulders, play my song on repeat, and have candles lit in the room. Other than that, there’s nothing more to plan. When people tell me their intense birth plans, I’m like- Good for you, sister, but at the end of the day, the baby is going to decide how she’s going to come!”
Good luck to the cute couple, and thanks Shay for keeping things real, for all the future moms!