Mena Suvari recently said she struggles with postpartum depression “every day,” more than a year and a half after giving birth to her first child.
The “American Beauty” actress, 43, told Rachel Bilson on her “Broad Ideas” podcast that aired Wednesday, “All I’m doing next month is testing my hormones. It’s very real.”
Suvari, who has been open about drug addiction and childhood sexual abuse, said she didn’t want to “sugarcoat” what she’s going through now, saying that mothers are expected to “do your job, but I do want to help others. I don’t think it serves anybody if I sit here, and I act like I’m perfect, and I act like I’ve got it together.”
She said that everyone is just trying to “survive and do the best that we can, and we have to help one another.”
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She said that along with therapy, she has a “strong group of friends,” works with holistic practitioners and is doing hormone tests and blood work to learn more about her body.
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The 43-year-old said she remembers sitting on her balcony after she gave birth to her son, Christopher, in April 2021, saying, “I have to get out of the house. I have to get out of the house.”
Her husband and her postpartum doula told her, “‘You can go. You can go for a walk.’ And I was like, ‘But I didn’t think I could,'” she said.
Suvari married Michael Hope in 2018 and the couple welcomed their first child in 2021.
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She said she was freaking out, thinking, “I have to do something for myself, but I can’t leave.”
Suvari says she still struggles with realizing that she doesn’t need to “be in [her son’s] face 24/7 to raise a good human being because of my fear.”
She added that when she was pregnant, she thought “wholeheartedly” she could have a “holistic” water birth, but she had 24 hours of labor at home then 24 hours of labor at the hospital with an epidural hospital staff, “and then I ended up with an emergency Caesarean.”
The actress said she didn’t want to “take all this stuff” advised by the doctors and said she was “high like a bobblehead on morphine when they [took her] baby out,” adding that her husband was able to get their “son skin-to-skin.”
“I still suffer from that,” she said.
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Added Suvari, “And I’m entitled to those emotions. We as mothers are entitled to those emotions. And just because I have a beautiful baby who’s perfectly healthy, my husband’s wonderful, and we made it out of the hospital, I still feel like I’m allowed to hold some space for being sad over not having that birth.”