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Reese Witherspoon Reflects on ‘Severe’ Postpartum Depression: I ‘Wasn’t Thinking Straight’

Looking back. Reese Witherspoon opened up about the postpartum depression she experienced after welcoming her three kids.

Related: Reese Witherspoon's Most Relatable Quotes About Her 3 Kids

“After each child, I had a different experience,” the actress, 44, said on a Friday, April 17, episode of Jameela Jamil‘s “I Weigh” podcast. “[With] one kid, I had kind of mild postpartum, and [with] one kid, I had severe postpartum where I had to take pretty heavy medication because I just wasn’t thinking straight at all. And then I had one kid where I had no postpartum at all.”

Reese Witherspoon Reflects on Experiencing Severe Postpartum Depression
Reese Witherspoon Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

The Little Fires Everywhere star, who shares Ava, 20, and Deacon, 16, with her ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe, and Tennessee, 6, with her husband, Jim Toth, went on to tell Jamil, 34: “We don’t understand the kind of hormonal roller coaster that you go on when you stop nursing. No one explained that to me. I was 23 years old when I had my first baby and nobody explained to me that when you wean a baby, your hormones go into the toilet. I felt more depressed than I’d ever felt in my whole life. It was scary.”

Related: Putting the Kids First! Celebs Who Crush Coparenting

The Oscar winner didn’t have any “guidance or help” at the time and “white-knuckled back” to herself, she explained.

“I think hormones are so understudied and not understood,” the Whiskey in a Teacup author said. “I kept reaching out to my doctors for answers. There just isn’t enough research about what happens to women’s bodies and the hormonal shifts that we have aren’t taken as seriously as I think they should be.”

Witherspoon added, “I have deep compassion for women who are going through that. Postpartum is very real.”

In September 2019, the Big Little Lies alum admitted she was “scared” before becoming a mom for the first time.

Related: 8 Times Reese Witherspoon and Ava Philippe Made Us Do a Double Take

“I didn’t know what it was going to do to my job or my career,” the Louisiana native explained in a YouTube video at the time. “Our entire life will change — everything you believe, every piece of food you eat, every piece of independence you have. You can’t go out without thinking of another person.”

Witherspoon considers motherhood “the best gig” she ever landed, the Emmy winner gushed via Instagram the following month.

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