Leona Lewis has been praised by fans for speaking openly on Loose Women about her experiences of postnatal anxiety.
The 38-year-old singer gave birth to her daughter Carmel Allegra in July last year and talked in detail about her battle with anxiety following the birth.
“When I had my baby I got a bit of postpartum anxiety, which is like this intense worry about the baby and the baby’s health, and it just starts to take over everyday living,” Lewis told ITV’s Loose Women panel on Monday.
“Talking about it really helped, it made me feel way less alone, and I know a lot of women go through it. At first you’re kind of thinking, ‘Is this normal?’ but it is normal.”
Lewis added that talking to her friends and other mums who had also experienced postpartum anxiety was “really helpful”.
“Also taking a second to breathe and ground myself,” she explained. “I spoke to a counsellor a couple of times who gave me advice and made me feel like this is something that it’s not just me going through but that a lot of people are going through.
“[It lasts for] a few months. It was a hard few months. It got just a bit too much, but now all of my hormones have balanced out, I’m sleeping, the baby’s sleeping,” she laughed.
Lewis also opened up about the intense morning sickness she experienced during her pregnancy.
“It was a really hard pregnancy,” she continued. “So I was one of 30% of women who have morning sickness until you give birth basically. I was sick every single day. At one point I was bedridden, but Dennis [Jauch], my husband, was amazing. He looked after me, he took care of me, he made sure I was taken care of. And my mum, she was crucial at that point as well.
“It wasn’t like one of those pregnancies that was amazing. You have this idea in your head. I remember someone coming up to me going, ‘Oh babe, your pregnancy looked so nice when I saw your pictures on Instagram.’ And I remember sometimes when we look at these pictures and things, we’re not putting out the truth of what’s going on, as it’s sometimes a bit hard to convey.”
— ⚡️𝓓𝔂𝓵𝓪𝓷⚡️ (@iamxDyl) June 5, 2023
Lewis added that her postpartum anxiety hasn't put her off having more children. “I understand what it is,” she explained. “Every pregnancy is so different. A lot of my friends have multiple children and each pregnancy has been so different. I know that I have an amazing support network around me that really helped me as well.”
Fans were quick to praise Lewis on social media, with one Twitter user writing: “Thank you for talking about postnatal anxiety! It’s something that’s not really spoken about and is so difficult to cope with.”
Another user tweeted: “Loved seeing @leonalewis on @loosewomen today talking so honestly about mental health and pregnancy.”
According to Tommys, up to one in five women develop mental health problems during pregnancy or in their first year after childbirth, including postpartum anxiety.
While it says “baby blues” is common in the first few days after birth, if you notice a more persistent anxiety you should speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.