What are you looking for?

Mother Stories

Press Play: Laura Miller On Depression & Motherhood

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Video by Vanessa Mona Hellmann

Finding out you’re pregnant unexpectedly can throw anyone through a loop. Add in the fact that you are already in the middle of a deep depression, and that new fact can become terrifying. This was the case for Laura Millercookbook author and star behind YouTube’s Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. series. Press play above to hear the mother of six-month-old Mae open up about her mental health crisis colliding with impending motherhood. Grab the tissues, people.

And if you can’t get enough of Laura—and this topic—check out a few quotes that ended up on the cutting room floor, below, and tune into Laura’s brand-new podcast, Talking In Circles, which goes deep on issues of mental health, among other things.

On getting help…
“If it just doesn’t feel right and you either have a prenatal or postnatal [depression] situation happening, you need to get a team on board, and you need at least one person who will recognize that this is real and will support you in getting the help you need. And if you can’t find that one person in your immediate life, go online and find support groups. You should take this really seriously, because it’s no joke, it’s real, and it should not be undermined or patronized. Even if you weren’t ready to get your mental health in order when it was just you, at this point, it’s you plus a baby. It’s all about finding a treatment plan for you, whether that’s medication or not, and getting help.”

On her lifelines…
“First of all, rituals are great for people with mental health problems. Daily routine is important. The thing that saved me were daily walks with my husband. We walked every morning to go get coffee, and every night (with wine). It gave me something to look forward to when I was having really hard days. Talking about what was happening and why it was important. It just helped me sort out all the complex stuff we were dealing with in our tiny little family.”

On bonding with your baby…
“I love Mae. But to be quite frank, I wasn’t sure that would happen. I had done so much research on all the ways you could feel about having a baby, and thankfully I had the perspective and the resources to know that not all moms feel a rush of amazingness right when they have a baby. Birth can be a traumatic and crazy experience, and a lot of moms have to take some time to fall in love with their baby. It took a month or two for me to understand what was really going on, and it made me feel like a freak. But then I did fall in love with her. And I’m really glad I didn’t pretend to feel a way that I didn’t just because everyone on Instagram expects you to. That I really do love her now, that means something, given everything we’ve been through. I think it’s somehow even more special. I don’t just love her because she exists or because she came out of my body, I love her because she’s who she is, and she’s awesome.”

For more on Laura Miller, check out her Dog Mom profile on Mother. And for more on depression and motherhood, read our piece on Prenatal Depression.

Write a Comment

Share this story