Kate Middleton Is Drawing Much-Needed Attention to Postpartum Depression
"There's an expectation you're going to be super happy all the time, and one in four of us aren't."
Despite being royalty, Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, is here to prove that all women go through the same struggles on the path to motherhood. Her pregnancies have made the world more aware of hyperemesis gravidarum, a more extreme version of morning sickness that the duchess has suffered from during all three. Now, the duchess has made a point to draw attention to a condition that's a lot more common, but still not addressed enough: postpartum depression.
The duchess recently visited the baby unit of the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, which specializes in antenatal and postnatal mental health illnesses, and also met with scientists researching the effects of depression on expecting moms. "There's an expectation you're going to be super happy all the time, and one in four of us aren't," she said, reflecting their finding that 25 percent of women in the area suffered from postpartum depression, according to Daily Mail. (Related: Why Some Women May Be More Biologically Susceptible to Postpartum Depression)
The duchess hit on an important point. Even though so many women experience postpartum depression, many of them feel a pressure not to let on that they're depressed right after giving birth, for fear that it reflects on their love or appreciation for their new baby. The "baby blues," a milder and shorter version of postpartum depression, is even more prevalent, with an estimated 80 percent of new moms experiencing it, and is overshadowed by the same taboo. (Emily Skye recently got real about her "baby blues.")
The duchess hasn't confirmed whether or not she's ever suffered from postpartum depression herself, but she's revealed that she's experienced a lowered mood during her current pregnancy. As she was leaving, she told the hospital staff that she was feeling "very broody," reports People.
With her recent statement, the duchess is continuing to bring up the various stigmas that exist around mental health conditions. (She recently joined a campaign to extend mental health awareness to children.) It's a much-needed message: Your mood after giving birth is no reflection on your value as a mother, and no one should ever be made to feel ashamed to seek help.