Toni Gonzaga reveals the cause of her postpartum depression

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The actress and new mom opens up about her weight gain during pregnancy led to a bout of postpartum depression

Four months after giving birth to her first child with husband, director Paul Soriano, Toni Gonzaga is opening up about how she went through a period of postpartum depression.

The 33-year-old host/actress attributes this to the changes in her physical appearance, specifically her weight gain.

In an interview with ABS-CBN's Magandang Buhay, Toni talked more about this time in her motherhood journey.

She recalls how her equally kalog younger sister Alex Gonzaga would tease her: "Katherine, tignan mo yung katawan mo sa salamin."

To which she challenged her younger sister to take off her clothes so they could compare bodies.

"Tignan mo yung katawan mo, pang-dalaga. Iyong akin, wala na, pang-nanay na," she recalls telling her baby sister, who's also an actress on the Kapamilya network.

"Ang OA talaga," interjected Alex. "Sabi ko, 'Talaga namang nanay ka na.' Ang OA niya."

"Siya naging cause ng postpartum ko," said Toni.

Alex's teasing didn't stop at her weight; the younger Gonzaga also poked fun at the dark circles under her eyes.

"Alam mo, kapag dumadating siya sa bahay, sasabihin niya sa akin nung first month kong manganak, 'Huy, nag-taping ka ba? Di ba wala ka namang trabaho? Bakit, bakit may eye shadow ka sa ilalim ng mata mo?'" recalls Toni. "Siyempre, wala akong tulog. Ginaganyan niya ako."

You can watch their full interview below.

Just months after she gave birth in September 2016, Toni is now back to her pre-pregnancy figure and weight, having shedded the 36 pounds she gained while pregnant.

Recalling that time, Toni can now laugh it off especially since her mom Pinty was there to reassure her.

"Ngayon, nakakatuwa, kasi sasabihin ko, 'Mommy, bakit dumilim, bakit dumilim,' gano'n. Normal iyon di ba sa mga nanay, dumidilim lalo na kapag lalaki?'" she remembers asking her mom, who told her not to worry since it's normal.  "Siya iyong nagpapalakas ng loob ko."

Her mom Pinty would tell her: "Wag ka mag-alala, tandaan mo, lilipas ang panahon. Kapag hinilod mo na iyan, magiging libag iyan. Hilurin mo iyan, Tin. Tapos makikita mo, nagiging dead skin na siya."

True enough, the dead skin which caused her so much worry was shed over time.

Despite all this, Toni maintains that welcoming her baby Seve into the world is the "best thing that's ever happened" to her.

Postpartum depression manifests in different ways

As each mom's story is different, so too is their battle with postpartum depression (PPD). While for many moms PPD manifests as an overall debilitating feeling that causes them to lose hope and plunge into a condition that may need medical attention, for some moms it starts simply. It can present itself through body image issues or a feeling of inadequacy when, for instance, they have insufficient milk supply.

According to MayoClinic, postpartum blues can involve sudden mood swings, crying fits, and insomnia. It can last for up to two weeks after delivery.

But Postpartum Depression is a long-lasting, severe type of condition. It's important to know that this is not a "character flaw or weakness" it is a mental and emotional post-birth complication which requires medical attention.

PPD can be caused by a variety of physical and emotional factors such as a hormonal imbalance, which can leave you feeling sluggish or tired. Altered body image perception, self-doubt when it comes to caring for your child and other seemingly "minor problems" can seem insurmountable, especially when you are overwhelmed and sleep deprived.

It's important to treat moms who believe they suffer from PPD with respect and compassion. Their battle may seem
"simple" to us, but it doesn't make their struggle with it any less valid and worthy of attention.

Learn more about managing and treating PPD here.

READ: Toni Gonzaga on being a breastfeeding working mom: ‘Talagang effort!’

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