Jade Roper Tolbert Says She Experienced Postpartum PTSD When She Gave Birth to Son Brooks in Closet
Jade Roper Tolbert is opening up about her experience with postpartum PTSD in the hopes of helping other mothers.
The Bachelor in Paradise alum, 34, shares three children with husband Tanner Tolbert: daughter Emerson "Emmy" Avery, 3, plus sons Brooks Easton, 21 months, and Reed Harrison, whom they welcomed in November.
"I felt like he didn't want me, which was the hardest part," she told the outlet of her son Brooks. "I felt like I would look at him, and I felt so disconnected and he didn't know I was his mom or he didn't want me as his mom."
Roper Tolbert continued, "From the second I went into labor until pretty much until I got pregnant with my (second) son Reed, I was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder."
The Bachelor Nation star said that during labor she thought she and Brooks were going to die "and so after that experience, I would have flashbacks. That we were ... not safe."
Roper Tolbert also experienced dizziness and "intrusive thoughts that weren't healthy."
The Mommies Tell All podcast host added that she kept holding off seeing a doctor because she was afraid they would downplay her emotions. "I was also afraid of going [to a doctor] and that somebody was going to just dismiss it," she said.
It wasn't until she had "a breakdown" to her husband, also 34, that she sought out help with hypnotherapy, Roper Tolbert told TODAY.
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Postpartum PTSD affects nearly 9 percent of women, according to Postpartum Support International.
Roper Tolbert also experienced postpartum depression after the birth of Brooks.
In March, she spoke to PEOPLE about her mental health and how she hopes being open will assure other women that they are not alone.
"I didn't know who to reach out to. I kept thinking I was alone in it and I was just going to get better on my own," she told PEOPLE. "I kept waiting."
Roper Tolbert continued, "It's okay not to be okay. We need to normalize the feelings that we feel postpartum. What you're feeling isn't something that's too big that you can't get help for it."
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Tolbert – whom she met during Bachelor in Paradise – also said he noticed a shift in his wife after Brooks was born. "I could see it, but I couldn't fully grasp what she was going through," he said.
"I thought maybe Jade felt like she had to brush it under the rug or not talk about it. It kind of prolonged it, I felt like, because we never really had that discussion until way, way later," Tolbert told PEOPLE.
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The mom of three added that moms should take care of themselves and "recognize that we are human."
"I think we're expected, or we put this pressure on ourselves, to be supermoms. ... It's not like that," she told PEOPLE. "We can't do it all, and there is help out there."
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.