Here’s How Jessie James Decker Deals With Postpartum Depression and Mom Shamers
What she says is so relatable.
Jessie James Decker often talks openly about her private life on Instagram — and after having three kids, it seems like she's basically covered it all. But in a recent interview with Health about her book Just Jessie, the country singer revealed that she never expected to share her experience with postpartum depression after giving birth to her first child, daughter Vivianne.
"I hate using the word postpartum depression because I think it's just being called a normal human being," she tells us. "After you have a child, we go through such hormonal changes. But that was something that was hard for me to really share how I felt and the anxiety I got after having my baby girl."
Here, Decker opens up about this battle and more.
On postpartum depression
"I think there's a lot of stigma around postpartum depression because people are so fearful, women especially, of not always appearing to be so strong, and that they have it together," says Decker. "But the truth is, like I said, we're human beings and we have emotions, and our body just went through this massive change of growing a human being, and then it just coming out of your body."
Decker tells us she leaned on her mother and husband for support while battling postpartum depression. "There's a transition period and it's great to have a great support system around you with friends and family and a good husband," she says. "Hopefully you have all those this to have that outlet because it's tough. I think if we all stick together as women, I think we can all get through it together."
On losing the post-baby weight
"I have been every shape and size over the last four and a half years from having children, and never had to worry about losing weight until I had kids," said Decker on Instagram recently. She explained that she was lucky to have always had a fast metabolism, but having kids definitely changed everything. "I’m so blessed and grateful to have my babies as y’all know, but it definitely can test your self-esteem when you are used to looking and feeling a certain way. I got up to 165 pounds with my first baby and being 5’1, it was really hard on my frame and I definitely struggled self esteem wise."
Decker's weight loss journey was different after each of her three children, but she was never able to lose weight while breastfeeding, she says. "I know you’ll see a lot of people in the public eye and they drop weight in what seems like five minutes after having a baby and I think we all feel like we should live up to those expectations," Decker wrote. "I’ve even been guilty of that myself and thinking I need to rush and lose weight two months after having a baby when I see all these skinny girls post baby but that is just not realistic for the majority of us."
Instead, Decker says chose to take her time losing weight after her most recent pregnancy. She slowly started taking walks up to a few of miles a day. After that, she moved on to circuit training. "I like to get in for 45 minutes and sweat, and switch it up, whether it's boxing or it's getting on the bike," she says. "Just anything I can do that's high intensity."
Decker also follows the South Beach Diet, which calls for reducing your carb intake. "I was a very protein-, vegetables-eating girl," she says.
On other unexpected changes post-pregnancy, Decker says she developed an oat allergy after the birth of her second child, Eric. Strangely, it went away after her third child was born. "Our bodies are really crazy sometimes, but I was pretty sad about being allergic to oat because I love me some oatmeal."
On dealing with mom shaming
When you put yourself out there, you open yourself up for hateful comments—something Decker is no stranger to. "I try not to focus on the negativity and I try to focus on the positive, because there's so much positivity in the world and I think we should focus more on that than the negativity," she says.
If you're a mom dealing with mom shaming, Decker hopes you can also learn to ignore the hate. "I think we all should focus more on cheering each other on and positivity, because being a mommy is one of the most wonderful things in the world, but it also is hard," she says. "We should stick together and lift each other rather than bring each other down."
Decker also isn't afraid to breastfeed around others. "I definitely don't understand the whole weirdness around breastfeeding," she says. "It's probably one of the oldest things we've been doing from the beginning of time. It's the most natural thing. We're mammals. We breastfeed. I'm not weird about pulling a boob out to breastfeed my baby because it is natural. They are there to feed my children. That's it. So we should all not be so sensitive about it."
On making time for herself
Decker says having a self-care ritual helps her find time for herself with her busy lifestyle: "I like bubble baths at night, and I'll have a glass of wine, and I'll listen to some music," she says. "Or late at night, when everyone's asleep, I'll just kind of lay in my bed and watch Sex in the City or a TV show to unwind. But I'm one of those [people who] can honestly hang out with my family 24/7. I don't need a ton of me time, but when I do, it's a bubble bath."
On her skincare routine
Because she has sensitive skin, Decker prefers to keep her skincare routine basic. "Ever since I was a little girl, I've always had pretty good skin," she says. "I've always been a soap and water girl and I still am. I know you're not supposed to do that, but I have the most sensitive skin in the world, so I'm not really big on tons of products. I just tried something new and I told myself not to and I broke out in hives."
However, Decker has finally found a brand that works for her: "I do use these products called Ren that I really like. They're super organic and all natural, and I've never had a breakout from them, so I've been into that lately."
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter