I read last week that Gwyneth Paltrow said she plans on avoiding having any more children to head off any potential recurrence of postpartum depression. The UK’s Daily Mirror quoted the famous celebrity as saying:
“Looking at Moses makes me want to have another one, he is sooo gorgeous! But I don’t think so. I don’t know if I can go there again, not sleep and be depressed for two years. I felt like a zombie.”
This statement, which was then republished all over entertainment websites and celebrity baby blogs, made me think. Will it lead other women who’ve been through postpartum depression to think they can’t or shouldn’t have more babies? Do they know that many of the women who have survived postpartum depression have gone on to have more children? Given that she is such a worldwide celebrity, I think it would be naive to assume that what Gwyneth says won’t have an impact on what some people think.
Whether to have another baby is a personal decision. No one has to go down that route again, nor are they expected to do so. At the same time, I think women should know that you can have another baby and be just fine. I did, thanks to my treatment team and support from family and friends. You can also have another baby, suffer a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder again, and recover. There is no one right answer.