Hayden Panettiere Opens Up About Postpartum Depression: It 'Needs to Be Talked About'

"There's a lot of misunderstanding and there's a lot of people out there that think that it's not real," the new mom said Monday

Hayden Panettiere and her Nashville character Juliette have a lot more in common than some might know — they’ve both experienced postpartum depression.

“I can very much relate. It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you’re told] about postpartum depression you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child’ — I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal,” Panettiere, 26, said during a Monday appearance on Live! with Kelly and Michael.

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding — there’s a lot of people out there that think that it’s not real, that it’s not true, that it’s something that’s made up in their minds, that ‘Oh, it’s hormones.’ They brush it off. It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable. It’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support.”

Hayden Panettiere Live with Kelly and Michael

She adds, “Women are amazing. We do something that no man can do on this planet. I mean, we grow a human being in our body!”

While the actress praises women for being able to give birth, she jokes that she wishes that her fiancé, Wladimir Klitschko, 39, could “figure out a way to get pregnant.” Better yet, she admits he would “absolutely” go through with it.

“When I was pregnant, he would do this thing where he would suck in his stomach and then I would put my stomach to his so that he could feel when she was moving, almost like she was in his stomach,” explains Panettiere, who welcomed her daughter, Kaya Evdokia, with the professional Ukrainian boxer in December 2014.

“He wanted to feel what it was like to have a baby as close to him as it was to me.”

As for the bond between Klitschko and their 9-month-old baby girl, Panettiere shares the two are “inseparable.”

Over the summer, the happy family took a vacation to France, Germany and Klitschko’s native Ukraine, where Kaya was baptized. Sadly, Kaya didn’t think the moment was as special as the rest of the family.

“This kid loves water. She’s never cried anytime we’ve put her in the shower or the bath or the ocean — she loves swimming. Of course, the one time we need her to not cry … the priest dipping her into the holy water and this kid is just wailing,” Panettiere says with a laugh. “All the pictures — beautiful pictures, everyone is all dolled up and she’s like, “Ahhhh!!’

Hayden Panettiere Live with Kelly and Michael daughter Kaya photo

And when Mom and Dad didn’t come to the rescue, Kaya took the situation into her own hands — literally.

“At one point [the] priest takes a little bit of her hair and cuts it — it’s part of the tradition — and she was like, ‘Honey, you take my hair, I take yours,’ and she took his beard [and yanked],” says Panettiere. “My husband still has the [priest’s] beard hair, which is about this long. She’s a fighter.”

Panettiere is looking forward to adding to her brood, but she’s not ready to make a final decision on exactly how large her family might one day become.

“I would love to have a big family. I always said four, but I’m not gonna speak too soon. One at a time,” the proud mama shares.

— Nicole Sands

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