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Bryce Dallas Howard on Acting, Mothering, and Staying Healthy

With two highly anticipated movies and baby No. 2 on the way, the young actress claims her place in the A-list spotlight.

Preventing Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is much more than the "baby blues." Nearly 13% of pregnant women and new mothers develop depression after giving birth, and symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. At its most severe it can be dangerous to both mother and baby.

Sit offers advice for women who are either at risk for developing postpartum depression or may have it now:

  • Most ob-gyns and general practitioners offer postpartum depression screening four to six weeks after delivery. "There are good screenings now, including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, which give doctors an indication of how a new mother is doing," advises Sit. Ask your doctor for information about the EPDS test, or download a copy at www.beyondtheblues.info/Docs/edinburgh%20english.pdf
  • Women with a history of depression need to be vigilant during their pregnancies, Sit insists. Make sure your doctor is aware of your medical history, including depression, so you can both be on the lookout for any symptoms.
  • Working out every day from 30 to 60 minutes can help boost mood, says Sit, and can help ease PPD symptoms. Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, biking or power walking, are good choices. But before beginning any fitness activity, check with your doctor first. Exercise is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
  • Finally, if a PPD patient’s symptoms remain unchanged with treatment, this may suggest an underlying, unrelated health concern, such as a thyroid problem or other disorder. "Be certain to report to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve," advises Sit.

 

Bryce Dallas Howard's Body After Baby

Despite her battle with depression, Howard refused to get down about her excessive weight gain during her first pregnancy or her inability to squeeze into tiny sample sizes within months -- or even a year -- after Theo's birth.

After finally losing that stubborn 80 pounds, is Howard daunted by the prospect of having to shed unwanted baby weight all over again? Howard is blithe about it: "I will never again be depressed about being 5, 10, or 15 pounds overweight," she insists. "Gaining the amount of weight I did during [my first] pregnancy -- and I got up to 210 pounds -- you just learn to relax about it. It took me so long to lose the baby weight, I got adjusted [to being heavier], and I said: 'I refuse to associate who I am with the shape of my body.' I was able to be generous with myself. I had a baby. I'm not some reckless human being ... and when I finally lost it all I felt like I had really achieved something."

Bryce Dallas Howard's Prenatal Health

Howard is making sleep, nutrition, and prenatal exercise a priority: "I was in much better condition overall when I got pregnant this time around. When the morning sickness started and all I could stomach was bagels, I felt a little bummed since I'd been so mindful about my nutrition previously. But I'm promising myself that the moment I can tolerate healthier foods I'll shift gears back to a well-rounded nutrition plan."

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