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Shay Mitchell opens up about her mental health during pregnancy

Prepartum depression is real and it's time we talked more about it.

Shay Mitchell opens up about her mental health during pregnancy

Shay Mitchell is this close to welcoming a beautiful baby girl—but while she's clearly overjoyed to be carrying out a healthy pregnancy shortly after suffering a miscarriage, that doesn't mean every part of her pregnancy has been fun or easy.

The actress (who announced her pregnancy on Instagram in June) recently got really honest about why she waited six months to publicly share her news and how hard it was to keep her pregnancy a secret.

"The first five months of this pregnancy were super isolating, and I went through a severe depression," Shay told maternity brand HATCH during a recent interview. "I previously had a miscarriage and that experience gave me anxiety about sharing the news of this pregnancy with anyone outside of our parents. With the first pregnancy, I was elated and told everyone at eight weeks. However, I wanted to be sure that this second pregnancy would be viable before shouting it from the rooftops, so I hid it for nearly six months and became very anti-social. Usually, I'm incredibly active and outgoing, but instead, I mainly stayed home to avoid stares and questions. I was extremely lonely."

We hear you, Shay. There's no shame at all in miscarrying, and if you want to share your pregnancy before you've entered your second trimester, that's absolutely your choice. But we understand how the memory of a miscarriage can cloud a healthy pregnancy and how isolating and lonely it can feel when you're harboring this huge secret.

On top of that, pregnancy in general can make you feel like you're just not yourself, and that can be difficult to deal with—and something few people discuss.

The Pretty Little Liars star also opened up about how her pregnancy weight gain affected her mental state. "I was gaining weight without having a noticeable bump. I became paranoid that my team was giving me the side-eye (not knowing I was pregnant) and thinking I should hit the gym—which added to my loneliness," Shay told HATCH.

Shay experienced prepartum depression, which is something we don't talk about enough.

"I think it's really interesting that prepartum depression or feelings of isolation in pregnancy are not more vastly discussed," the actress says. "Feeling that I was alone in my depression compounded my state of mind, but have found since sharing the news publicly that many women feel as I did…pregnancy can be a hard time, especially if you're having to hide it. After I came out publicly, I felt an enormous wave of relief and was finally able to start enjoying the pregnancy."

Shay's right: While we're now having frank discussions about postpartum depression, we really aren't talking much about prepartum depression—but it's a very real thing, and it's time we gave this tough issue some attention.

"My PREpartum depression [was the most surprising part of my pregnancy]! As long as I can remember, I've heard about POSTpartum depression," Shay says. "However, to be depressed at the beginning came as a shock. The isolation and anxiety I experienced was crippling.

"I thought I was going out of my mind and questioned why nobody ever talked to me about this phase. I've been fortunate since sharing the news of my pregnancy to have some amazing conversations with other pregnant women and moms and know that all these feelings are 'normal,' so now we just need to normalize them by discussing more openly!"

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We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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