Ivanka Trump reveals struggles with postnatal depression

President's eldest daughter and adviser admits feeling she was not 'living up to potential as a parent' after births of her three children in interview with US TV host Dr Oz

Rachel Chason
Thursday 21 September 2017 07:15
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Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump revealed in a television interview that she struggled with postnatal depression after the births of her three children.

During an interview with Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr Oz, President Donald Trump's eldest daughter, who also serves as his senior adviser, described the period after the birth of each of her three children as a “very challenging emotional time.”

“I felt like I was not living up to my potential as a parent or as an entrepreneur and executive,” she said during the interview, which will air in full on Thursday.

Trump, 35, and her husband, Jared Kushner, 36, have three children: Arabella, six, Joseph, three, and Theodore, one. Theodore was born in March 2016, in the midst of the 2016 Republican primaries, during which Trump often hit the campaign trail with her father. The week after Theodore was born, she introduced her father at a rally in Long Island.

In the wide-ranging interview, Trump discusses her role in the White House and her efforts to improve the lives of working women.

About one in nine women experience postnatal depression, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include anger and sadness, withdrawing from loved ones, feeling disconnected from your baby and worried you will hurt your baby, according to the CDC.

“I had such easy pregnancies that in some ways the juxtaposition hit me even harder,” Trump told Oz.

​Ivanka Trump has made reducing the cost of child care a priority and is credited with influencing the President's plan to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave. She joins model Chrissy Teigen, singer Adele and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who are among the celebrities who have opened up about their struggle to raise awareness about the postnatal depression.

“It's incredibly important,” Trump said. “I consider myself a very hard-charging person. I am ambitious. I am passionate. I am driven. But this is something that affects parents all over the country.”

Postnatal depression does not only affect mothers. Approximately 4 percent of fathers experience depression in the first year after their child's birth, according to a 2010 study from the National Institutes of Health.

The CDC recommends that people who believe they are experiencing postnatal depression talk to their health-care provider about treatment.

Earlier this year psychiatrist Alexandra Sacks wrote in the New York Times that many women are “ashamed to speak openly about their complicated experiences for fear of being judged.”

“When women find themselves feeling lost somewhere between who they were before motherhood and who they think they should be now, many worry that something is terribly wrong, when in fact this discomfort is absolutely common.”

Advocates say that in recent years, more mothers are learning about and treating the illness, with medical providers screening for depression more routinely and lawmakers beginning to look for ways to expand treatment options.

But the healthcare repeal plan Senate Republicans could vote on next week could make it much harder for mothers to get pre- and-post natal care. The plan allows states to apply for waivers to let insurers opt out of Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, protections, such as maternity coverage.

The Washington Post

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