Shay Mitchell and Ashley Graham Discuss Prenatal Depression
What Is "Prepartum" Depression? Shay Mitchell Explains the Isolating Beginning of Her Pregnancy
Shay Mitchell's daughter, whom she shares with boyfriend Matte Babel, was born three months ago, but Shay is opening up now about the prenatal depression she felt when her baby girl, named Atlas, was just a tiny bean in the womb. During a conversation with Ashley Graham on an episode of the model's YouTube show, Pretty Big Deal, Ashley and Shay discussed the emotions they both felt in the beginning of their pregnancies, a stage that Shay has referred to as "prepartum depression."
"I think that you said the term 'prepartum depression.' I want to talk about this because I can't say definitively that I went through it, but I can say that I feel like I might have gone through something like it," shared Ashley, who is pregnant with her first child. "Because here I am, I'm pregnant — it's not that I was trying to get pregnant, or I wasn't trying, but it just happened, so it was a surprise — but then all of a sudden . . . my emotions, my mind, my body, things that I always had control over, are now totally out of whack. I can't talk to anybody about it. My husband doesn't understand . . . my mom is like, 'Oh, you'll be fine,'" to which Shay responded, "YEP."
Ashley continued, sharing that she was crying a lot in that time period and felt like she was spiraling. "Every single thing that you just said is exactly what I went through," Shay told Ashley. "My mom said the same thing, and I'd be crying to her and she's like, 'You're just emotional, it's just the hormones.' And OK, cool, it might be, but you don't want to hear that. Like, yes, OK, if it is the hormones, I'm still feeling that way, it doesn't take away from this feeling. And it's completely isolating."
"It was just really lonely."
Shay also shared that she didn't even want to tell some of her closest friends that she was expecting, partially because of the miscarriage she experienced in 2018 and opened up further about last year in her first Almost Ready YouTube episode. So she decided to keep her pregnancy to herself for a while, which involved staying home a lot to avoid paparazzi getting a bump photo and leaking her pregnancy before she was ready to share her news with the world, another thing that made her feel very closed off from others.
"It was just really lonely," she said. "Matte also was traveling a bunch, [I wasn't] feeling as secure about [my] body, because there was no bump — and that's the thing, you don't feel sexy, you don't have that beautiful bump." All of this led Shay — and Ashley admitted she felt very similar and went through the same phases of emotions — to feel overwhelmed, confused, and depressed, especially as she and Matte hadn't planned the pregnancy.
"It's a really crazy period that I don't think people talk about enough. I heard so much about postpartum, which is also a real thing, but I had never heard of prepartum depression."
"I personally haven't ever experienced anything like this, but I just didn't want to get out of bed," Shay said. "I was also having a lot of guilt because I felt so fortunate to be able to be pregnant. I was like, 'OK, I shouldn't be feeling like this, there's so many people that would love to be in this position.' And then, 'How can I not want this right now?' . . . 'Is this what I want?' 'Oh my god, is my whole life gonna change? It's never going to go back, now I'm gonna be a mom, is this going to impact my career?' It was just all of those thoughts that happened . . . It's a really crazy period that I don't think people talk about enough. I heard so much about postpartum [depression], which is also a real thing, but I had never heard of prepartum depression."
She added later that all of these feelings were why she decided to start her YouTube series, Almost Ready, which featured a look into her relationship with Matte for the first time, as well as her entire pregnancy and labor experience. "There are so many of us on this journey, and it's all so individual with our experiences, but at the same time, there's a lot of common feelings that we feel throughout this process that aren't spoken about enough."
Watch the entire episode of Ashley's Pretty Big Deal featuring Shay above.