Vanessa Minnillo: I Had the “Baby Blues,” Not Postpartum Depression

Vanessa Minnillo attends the Edy's Slow Churned Light Ice Cream event benefiting Operation Smile at ARENA Event Space on August 2, 2012 in New York City. Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Vanessa Lachey (nee Minnillo) wants to set the record straight. Five days after writing about coming "undone" following the September birth of son Camden John, the 32-year-old first-time mother is clarifying what she went through. In a new blog post on her official website, Nick Lachey's wife explains the difference between the "baby blues" — what she experienced with Camden — and postpartum depression (PPD).

One of the main distinctions she notes is how many women are affected by the baby blues (up to 80 percent of new moms) versus how many women are affected by postpartum depression (10 to 20 percent of new moms). PPD also tends to last much longer and cause more severe symptoms, such as an "inability or lack of desire to take care of yourself and/or your baby" and "persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness."

Minnillo admitted to initially struggling with motherhood in a previous blog post, but she was careful to note that her emotions were more in line with the "weepiness, irritability and feelings of being overwhelmed" associated with the baby blues. She wasn't depressed so much as she was scared.

"I think it's just fear…The fear of not knowing what I'm doing," she wrote of her experience on March 6. "The fear of 'messing up' this little boy. The fear of being responsible for a human being and not knowing any 'life' experiences to compare moments with him to. No matter how many books you read, NOTHING prepares you better than the real thing. I felt lost, unloved, alone and at my wits end."

Those emotions culminated in a mini-breakdown on Sept. 29. "I started crying. I was feeding Camden and crying my eyes out," she confessed. "I felt like I had officially come undone."

"I didn't feel like myself," she continued. "Where was the super woman who always thought and knew she could do it all? Where was the organized Vanessa who had it all under control no matter what the obstacle? She was gone, and I thought…forever."

It turned out, though, that Lachey just needed to clear her head and accept that she wasn't going to be the "perfect natural mother" she planned to be. "It's okay if we can't do it ALL," she wrote, "because…we have already done so much."

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