Adele’s Struggle With Postpartum Depression Is So Relatable

The singer shared how a break from her baby helped.

One of the best things about Adele: She’s pretty much an open book when it comes to her experience as a mother. Adele and boyfriend Simon Konecki welcomed son Angelo to their family three years ago, and she’s a pretty candid mum. She told fans at a concert in March that, yes, she grew a beard while pregnant with her son (she named it Larry, FYI). She’s also offered some choice words for people who pressure women to breastfeed. And in a new cover story for Vanity Fair, Adele opened up about a side of motherhood that too often goes undiscussed: postpartum depression.

The singer told Vanity Fair that she experienced “really bad postpartum depression” after having her son, and it “frightened” her. Adele is far from alone—one in eight women will experience postpartum depression, according to the CDC. Often referred to as postpartum mood disorders (PPMD), it’s a serious mental health issue marked by worry, sadness, and guilt. Moms with postpartum depression can often feel “numb” or “disconnected” from their new baby, and they can even become consumed with the fear of hurting their child or being an inadequate parent, the CDC says. PPMD most often appears within three months of delivery but it can take up to a year to develop.

Adele says when she first started experiencing the mood disorder, she kept her feelings to herself. From what she knew of postpartum depression, she didn’t think she had it.

“My knowledge of postpartum—or post-natal, as we call it in England—is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job,” Adele told Vanity Fair. “But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life.”

But postpartum depression comes in many forms, which Adele realized after opening up to another mum about her despair. “One day I said to a friend, ‘I fuckin’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I fuckin’ hate this, too.'”

Adele’s solution: To give herself an afternoon each week to do “whatever the fuck I want” without her baby. While the singer felt guilty leaving Angelo, she knew she’d ultimately feel better spending an afternoon away than trying to push through. And once she started talking about her feelings with other moms, she realized they felt the same way.

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