Abby Huntsman of The View and former The View co-host Sara Haines (Strahan and Sara) had a joint baby shower on April 4’s episode of The View — but this wasn’t your ordinary baby shower full of diaper cakes and guess-the-weight-in-jellybeans games. Huntsman and Haines used the public forum to talk candidly about their experiences with postpartum depression — and it was a beautiful exercise in mama honesty and stigma-smashing.
Huntsman has twins on the way — a boy and a girl who will join older sister, Isabel. Haines is expecting her third. The two TV hosts are still on air — and are both nearly at the same point in their pregnancies, with Huntsman at 28 weeks along and Haines at 27. But it was what the women had to say about their shared prior experiences of postpartum depression that really hit home for us.
Parade reports that Huntsman said she’s struggling in advance of the birth, especially worrying about her firstborn this time around:
“I’ve been emotional lately about Isabel and losing what I have with her,” Huntsman said. “… I worry that I’m not going to be as close with her or that she will feel left out. I’m going through those emotions right now.”
When asked if they had experienced postpartum depression, as first-time moms, both Huntsman and Haines were quick to share.
Haines said, “I didn’t realize how foggy everything was when I had Alec. You don’t know you’re in postpartum until you have it.”
Later she added, “A friend from college wrote me and said, “I don’t know if you’ll need this advice, but when I was pregnant, someone… wrote about how everyone is telling you how amazing it’s going to be.”
Haines said that her friend then told her, “I’m going to tell you that it’s going to be the most isolating experience.” Haines recalled, “I remember reading it and thinking how nice it was to receive something this honest — it wasn’t anything I had ever heard. It was super dark. I was so scared. I had never seen anyone post anything that real. It was such a tough period. Everyone tells you it kicks in and you’re going to feel a certain way but I kept thinking ‘was I broken? What’s wrong with me.’ I had it just with Alec… It was the scariest feeling I’ve ever had.”
Huntsman agreed. “A month or so after my pregnancy with Isabel I didn’t feel like me. I kept thinking, Why am I down when this should be the happiest time in my life?” She continued, “More women are opening up about this and it’s so real. I found what helped was taking time for myself and that it’s OK to admit it’s hard. I remember sitting in the kitchen crying and saying I don’t feel like me and that maybe I need help. I’m so much more compassionate to women who go through pregnancy. We need to talk about these things more.”
We absolutely agree.
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