Kate, 35, recently talked about the fact that having a newborn is “lonely” and a huge adjustment, one that “nothing can prepare you for.” And back in 1995, the Princess of Wales broke with royal protocol by revealing that she’d suffered from postpartum depression after having her first child, Prince William.
“It had been quite a difficult pregnancy,” Diana, then 34, told Martin Bashir in the BBC interview that rocked the world with her equally frank disclosure of her difficult marriage to Prince Charles. “I hadn't been very well throughout it – so by the time William arrived it was a great relief because it was all peaceful again, and I was well for a time.
“Then I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses…you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time. You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself.”
She said it was a shock because she had never suffered from depression. “But then when I analyzed it I could see that the changes I'd made in the last year had all caught up with me, and my body had said: “We want a rest.”
Kate didn’t suffer from PPD but she and husband Prince William have reassured other new parents on more than one occasion that it’s a big shock to the system. “You have no idea really what you are doing,” said the duchess. “No matter how many books you read, nothing can prepare you for it.”
Like Diana, Kate admits she’s shy. And she says that can make being a new mom worse because you’re reticent to ask others for help. “It is lonely at times. You do feel quite isolated. But actually so many other mothers are going through exactly what you're going through … It’s being brave enough to reach out.”
Kate, Prince William and Prince Harry are currently promoting their mental health campaign Heads Together, which is Charity of the Year at Sunday’s London Marathon.