Hayden Panettiere On Her Struggles With Postpartum Depression

Pam WrightLife

Share this Post

Hayden Panettiere learned recently that art really does imitate real life when she had a similar experience with postpartum depression as her Nashville character, Juliette Barnes.

After giving birth to daughter Kaya Klitschko last December, the 26-year-old actress said she too suffered from the all too common disorder.

"It's something I can very much relate to," Panettiere revealed Monday during an appearance on Live! With Kelly and Michael. "It's something a lot of women experience. When [you are told] about postpartum depression you think it's 'I feel negative feelings towards my child; I want to injure or hurt my child.' I've never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don't realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It's something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they're not alone, and that it does heal."

Like so many other women who suffer from postpartum depression, Panettiere said the shame and misunderstanding surrounding the condition kept her silent.

"There's a lot of people out there that think that it's not real, that it's not true, that it's something that's made up in their minds, that 'Oh, it's hormones.' They brush it off," said Panettiere. "It's something that's completely uncontrollable. It's really painful and it's really scary and women need a lot of support."

She added, "Women are amazing. We do something that no man can do on this planet. I mean, we grow a human being in our body!"

Panettiere's fiancé, heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, apparently has a secret wish to experience pregnancy.

"If Wlad figured out a way to get pregnant and he could have the baby, we would be going right now, no problem," said Panettiere, who added that the couple plan on having four children altogether.

"When I was pregnant, he did this thing where he would suck in his stomach and then I would put my stomach to his so that he could feel when she was moving -- almost like she was in his stomach," Panettiere said. "He wanted to feel what it was like to have a baby as close to him as it was to me."

Pam Wright