The move comes after a couple of interviews where Panettiere shared the reality of living with PPD. In a recent "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" questionnaire for US Weekly she revealed that she "suffered a bit of postpartum depression. You're not alone or crazy, ladies!" Then came her refreshingly candid sit-down last month on Live! with Kelly and Michael, where she offered up details of her struggle. "There's a lot of people out there that think that it's not real, that it's not true, that it's something that's made up in their minds, that 'Oh, it's hormones,'" she said on the show. "They brush it off. It's something that's completely uncontrollable. It's really painful and it's really scary, and women need a lot of support."
The 26-year-old actress, whose Nashville character (coincidentally) has PPD, is hardly the first celebrity mom to come forward with her postpartum experience. Gwyneth Paltrow, Celine Dion, and Brooke Shields immediately come to mind. But I'm hard-pressed to remember a famous mama who has spoken about PPD while she's going through it, which makes Panettiere's openness—and willingness to seek outside help—all the more remarkable. The way I see it, by giving such honest interviews, she's helping to give a voice to the scores of women who battle privately with this debilitating depression and offering a reminder that what these new moms need most is unconditional support.
Hopefully the time off is serving Panettiere well. Four days ago, she tweeted a message to her 695,000 followers that might also serve as inspiration for other moms struggling with PPD: "Feeling like I'm #finally coming back in to my own body!mother #daughter #blessing #wellworthit"
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