Childbirth is a powerful experience and can evoke powerful memories and emotions buried long ago. Alyssa Milano explained that she had such an experience while giving birth to her first child, her son, 10-year-old Milo Thomas, who she shares with husband David Bulgari.
On a recent episode of the podcast Me Becoming Mom, Milano recalled a brief moment during childbirth where she felt uncomfortable with what was happening to her body. “I remembered at one point [during the birth of her son Milo] really not enjoying the fact that lots of people had access to my vagina,” she recalled. “And thinking to myself, ‘Why does— I don’t like this. Why does it feel so familiar? I’ve never had a baby before. Why does this invasive feeling feel so familiar?’ That was just a fleeting moment, a tick in time, but I didn’t forget about it.”
With the help of therapy, the actor realized “that one moment of feeling like I was being held down and had things being done to me that I didn’t want, to me, was very reminiscent of being sexually assaulted…It triggered all of these memories that I thought I had dealt with. I think anyone who has dealt with trauma has the moments where you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m fine. I’ve dealt with that.’ Versus the moments where you go, ‘Oh, no I didn’t. I just tried to tuck it away so no one could see them or I couldn’t see them or feel them anymore.'”
Milano, who also shares 7-year-old daughter Elizabella with Bulgari, has been an outspoken advocate of the MeToo movement since its inception and has publicly shared two experiences with sexual assaults.
The Sorry Not Sorry author added that she felt like those experiences could have contributed to her postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. “That’s what it felt like for me,” she said. “I gotta think that because it felt that way for me, it must have felt that way for other women. I wonder how much of my postpartum anxiety was due to — of course, hormones and all of the things — but also that feeling that felt like I wasn’t in control, you know?”