Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate — even when it comes to the rich and famous. In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Cardi B confesses that despite her rags-to-riches success story, falling in love and having a baby, she was still blindsided by the depression she experienced after giving birth to her daughter, Kulture.
"I thought I was going to avoid it," the "I Like It" hitmaker says. "When I gave birth, the doctor told me about postpartum, and I was like, 'Well, I'm doing good right now, I don't think that's going to happen.' But out of nowhere, the world was heavy on my shoulders."
One of the early problems that she encountered was being unable to breastfeed her baby, which may come as a surprise considering she promoted the practice in her "Money" video, nursing in a wide-open black gown in true total badass form. "It was too hard," Cardi confesses about her inability to nurse.
And, like other working moms she was faced with the dilemma of whether to go back to work and leaving her newborn at home, as taking her on the tour bus was unrealistic. Ultimately, she decided to drop out of her tour with Bruno Mars, which she was scheduled to start rehearsing for just four weeks after her birth, so she could focus on parenting.
Back in 2018, Cardi got super real — as well as graphic — about what early motherhood was like. "People don't really talk about what you go through after pregnancy," she told W magazine at the time. "Like, they don't tell you that you get stitches down there or that your first two weeks you're constipated. Or that you get contractions because of breastfeeding. I wasn't expecting that," she continued.
"When Kulture was born, I felt like I was a kid again; everything was making me cry, and I needed a lot of love. I be feeling like, Do babies know who's they mom? I feel like babies love whoever is giving them the milk, and I want to give the milk the whole time. I want her to know me. I feel better now, but sometimes I just feel so vulnerable, like I'm not ready for the world yet. It's weird."
After a few months, Cardi explained to Harper's that the depression started to subside and she started feeling better all-around. Unlike many celebrities who rely on hired help for childcare, she hasn't felt the need to pay a professional. Not only is her mother available to help, but she doesn't trust any non-family members.
Cardi also discusses how having a child has changed her body and overall health. "For some reason, I still don't feel like my body's the same," she says. "I feel like I don't have my balance right yet. When it comes to heels, I'm not as good at walking anymore. I feel like I'm holding a weight on me. I don't know why because I'm skinnier than I've ever been. But there's an energy I haven't gotten back yet that I had before I was pregnant. It's just the weirdest thing."
The rapper has found one tactic to deal with balancing her emotions and it involves her daughter. "Sometimes I'll see something online and it'll piss me off, and then my baby will start crying or something, and it's like, 'You know what? I've got to deal with the milk. Forget this.'"
Another way she stays sane is by removing herself from social media, and explains that this is one of the reasons we didn't get to see a photo of Kulture for several months. "I've noticed that every time you respond, you just make things worse, so I'm over it. I'm just over it. I really don't need it, and sometimes it just brings chaos to my brain. I can stay off social media. I've been trying."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 9 women suffer from postpartum depression. Despite the fact that many of them need medical treatment, many suffer silently because they are ashamed or embarrassed. Symptoms and the severity of them vary case-by-case but can include crying more often than usual, feelings of anger, withdrawing from loved ones, feeling numb or disconnected from your baby, worrying that you will hurt the baby or feeling guilty about not being a good mother.
While some cases of postpartum depression can clear up on their own, others can be prolonged and life-threatening, even for people who have lots of support from friends and family. That is why it is crucial to seek professional treatment when the earliest signs of postpartum present themselves so that a medical expert can offer help — whether in the form of talk therapy, group sessions or medication.
Cardi isn't the only celebrity who has opened up about postpartum depression. Gwyneth Paltrow, Chrissy Teigen, Hayden Panettiere, Adele and Alanis Morissette have all been vocal about their struggles, and have likely helped out so many women because of their brutal honesty.
Before this interview, we thought it was impossible for Cardi B to be any more badass, but her brave and bold decision to be transparent about her mental health totally takes her next level!