It was Chris Martin who first suspected that his then-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, was struggling with postpartum depression following the birth of their son, Moses, in 2006.
“With my son, I had it quite badly, and I didn’t realize it,” Paltrow told Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Thursday’s episode of her Goop Podcast. “I just thought I couldn’t get my s*** together, and I was so all over the place emotionally and really disconnected from myself. It was terrible and lonely and awful, awful.”
Eventually, Martin, with whom she also shares 15-year-old daughter, Apple, confronted her about it.
“It was really a lifesaver, one day my ex-husband — my husband at the time — said, ‘I think you might have postpartum depression,’” said Paltrow, who was married to the Coldplay frontman from 2003 to 2016. “And I was like, ’What?’ I was stunned. I just thought it was just coming out of nowhere, but then I just felt myself break open with so much relief, and just to have someone observe and name it, and I was like, s***, I think you’re right.”
Paltrow’s next thought was how to deal with it.
She thought, “‘I better get help and start to deal with this and talk to somebody.’ And so I started doing yoga, and I started doing acupuncture, and I started seeing a therapist, and then it started to pass.”
She founded Goop, a personal wellness website in 2008.
Louis-Dreyfus explained that she struggled with postpartum depression after giving birth to both of her twentysomething sons, Henry and Charlie.
“But nobody was calling it that then,” the Veep star said, “so I just thought, ‘Oh, s***, I’m losing my mind.’”
She said she somehow “powered through” it the first time.
“I just remember it was terrifying. It really was scary, because there was this feeling like I should not have had children and that is terrifying after you’ve given birth,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “It’s not a good feeling.”
Louis-Dreyfus recalled that she was very emotional.
“I was weeping all the time,” she told Paltrow. “I think you said you were separated from yourself. I didn’t feel like myself. I don’t know how else to say it.”
The postpartum went away on its own in a month that time.
“But then with my second son, I panicked,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “It happened again. I didn’t realize it but all of the sudden I had this feeling like we’d given him the wrong name, and I needed to change his name.”
The Seinfeld star was convinced at the time that Charlie should have been named Ernest.
“I was bawling, and I just didn’t know what was happening. And we’d already f***ed up this child with this name of Charlie, which is probably the most affable, wonderful name in the world,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “And I remember I was actually talking to my sister-in-law and she said, ‘Hey, Julia, I think this is postpartum. I think you should go to the doctor.’”
She took the advice.
“Actually, I went to my gynecologist at the time and he gave me a shot of progesterone or estrogen or something like that, and I was better in 24 hours,” Louis-Dreyfus said.
The U.S. government’s Office on Women’s Health reports that one in nine women experience postpartum depression, and it offers resources on its website.