Even golden moms get the blues.
That's the confession Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow reveals in the latest Vogue, in which she describes her postpartum depression after the birth of her son, Moses, who is now 2. "I felt really out of my body. I felt really disconnected. I felt really down," Paltrow says in the May issue. "I didn’t know I had it until after it was over. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me."
Paltrow, who took time off from acting after the birth of her daughter, Apple, 4, believes that the cause of her depression may have stemmed from her cutting back on her pre-baby acupuncture and massages. The actress, 35, will make her return to the big screen in Iron Man (VIA) (MVL) which is scheduled to hit theaters May 2.
Paltrow is not alone in the feelings she had after the birth of her second baby. According to Mental Health America, 80% of new mothers experience postpartum blues, and 10%-20% experience postpartum depression, or PPD.
Generally postpartum blues, which are also known as “baby blues,” go away by themselves and do not require professional help, according to Susan Dowd Stone, president of Postpartum Support International. She says that if the “baby blues” do not go away in a month however, mothers should seek out help from their healthcare providers because they could be suffering from PPD.
While PPD can be very serious, it has different levels of severity all of which are treatable. “There is no reason for a mother to suffer needlessly when there are treatments available,” says Stone. Does insurance cover PPD? Many do, but it is worthwhile to check to make sure.
Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans, agrees that the health of the mother and baby are important in both pre-natal and post-natal care. “In general, if a mother has mental health care coverage as a part of their healthcare plan, treatment for postpartum depression will be covered.” There is however, some variety across plans as to the structure of the plans and how much is covered. For example, Medicare covers only 50% of outpatient psychiatric care.