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Danielle Brooks on Battling Postpartum Depression: I ‘Really Struggled to Accept This New Person’ (Exclusive)

Danielle Brooks opened up about her battle with postpartum depression after welcoming her daughter, Freeya, in 2019.

“I just really struggled to accept this new person that was emerging instead of realizing this new person is actually really dope and beautiful,” the Orange Is The New Black actress, 34, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, May 8, while promoting her partnership with Pampers. “There’s so many things that are changing our bodies, our mindsets, but it’s OK to shed that old skin and be rebirthed.”

Brooks, who shares her daughter with husband Dennis Gelin, went on to explain how she really likes the person she has become and is “still becoming” because of Freeya.

“It took therapy. … I did a lot of talking to other mothers that might’ve gone through the same thing and then a lot of self-reflection for me,” she shared with Us, adding that she got back into working out, which helped her mental and physical health.

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Brooks noted that she feels “great” now, especially since she has learned to love her new post-baby body.

“I spent so much time on my body image and being the perfect curve and stuff like that, but now I’m living in a place where I am healthy,” she explained. “I’m really loving and focusing on the parts that I love about myself. Because what happens is that energy and that vibe that you carry, your children feel that, and I don’t want that for Freeya. So I’m really trying to work on just enjoying the body that I have and celebrating who I am now.”

Danielle Brooks Opens Up About Her Struggle With Postpartum Depression
Danielle Brooks Unique Nicole/WireImage

While Brooks is now happy with who she is, she still faces challenges when it comes to parenting her 4-year-old daughter.

“It’s challenging because she’s so independent,” the actress shared. “But we really do allow her to make mistakes and try things and get messy. So I think it’s a lot more patience with myself that I have to have so that I can make sure to have patience with her.”

Because Brooks loves and takes pride in being a mom, she chose to partner with Pampers for their Love Change campaign because there 360 stretchy waistband helps make diaper changes easy.

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“It just felt like the right collaboration because I have a little one and as soon as I came out of the hospital they handed me Pampers and it worked for our family,” she told Us of the ultrasoft absorbent diapers that have layers to help protect baby’s skin. “And because our daughter had unfortunately rashes as most kids do, it just was perfect because they had such great skin protection and leak protection for those messy moments that you just want to not have.”

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