Alanis Morissette has shared a powerful blog post about postpartum depression after giving birth to her third child two months ago.
Morissette and husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway welcomed son Winter on 8 August.
To prepare for the birth and ensuing newborn aftermath, the singer says she “set it up to win as much as I could beforehand” by organising and leaning on “support, food, friends, sun, bio-identical hormones and SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors]” to help her cope and avoid feelings of depression and anxiety.
“Some parts of the care-prep has been a godsend, and well-planned,” she writes. “But for all of this preparation, PPD is still a sneaky monkey with a machete, working its way through my psyche and body and days and thoughts and bloodwork levels. I have stopped, this time, in the middle of it.”
Writing from the “tar-drenched trenches” of postpartum depression, Morissette cites the issues she’s been struggling with since giving birth, from sleep deprivation and “fogginess” to physical pain, isolation, anxiety and “all kinds of PTSD triggers.” She calls it an “invisible load” that impacts her marriage and relationship with her two older children — 8-year-old son Ever and 3-year-old daughter Onyx — and one that she says deserves more respect.
“This culture is not set up to honour women properly after birth,” she continues in the stream-of-consciousness-style post. “I see it changing, which is so heartening … but the general way is bereft of the honouring and tenderness and attunement and village-ness that postpartum deeply warrants. The new mom, [sic] the new parent(s) is creating the foundation for the circumventing of so much of the pain and divisiveness that we see in the world. Preventatively.
“We are on the ground floor of creating secure attachment from which ALL other contributions to the world of relationships, service, politics, authentic self-expression, ‘success’ and LOVE are borne. THIS is the epicenter. [sic] THIS is where it all begins (certainly in utero too, but more on that some other time). THIS is where the fabric of our culture, of our world, is crafted. On physical, emotional, neurobiological, chemical, spiritual, mental, existential, practical levels.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we treated all postpartum moms [sic] and families with this awareness and honour,” she writes. “Even if the treadmill of the quickening of our culture didn’t change pace … that there might be a life raft of empathy toward the feminine life-givers who bear it all and give more than words can even begin to touch on.”
The ‘Jagged Little Pill’ star signs off with “we’re not alone.” Sure enough, many other women have reached out to share their own struggles with postpartum depression and thank Morissette for speaking up.
“I sure wish I could have had even a portion of this perspective after my babies were born,” one fan wrote.
“I know there’s a safety net of women surrounding and supporting me. You’re there, too,” read a comment from a fellow mum.
“Beautifully written mama! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing,” another commenter added.