Jenna Dewan Opens Up About Her Postpartum Issues

The Internet has been abuzz today after a story broke about Jenna Dewan’s experience with anxiety following the birth of her first child. Where it used to be the case that glossy magazines only showed the beauty of childbirth with countless-page spreads of a Hollywood couple’s gorgeous bub, in recent years more and more celebrities, sports stars and public figures have opened up about the side of pregnancy that’s rarely talked about; of traumatic births, postpartum depression and other issues, and the impact childbirth can have on their own personal relationships. It’s an important conversation and one we need to keep having without shame and judgment. But for Jenna Dewan, this conversation has been stolen from her. 

Dewan has two children, an eight-year-old daughter named Everly whom she shares with ex-husband Channing Tatum, and a one-year-old son named Callum, whom she shares with her current partner Steve Kazee. Since her high-profile split from Tatum, Dewan has been incredibly open with her followers about her parenting experiences, with many seeing the actress as an inspirational figure when it comes to the authentic documentation of the reality of motherhood.

In a recent episode of the Dear Gabby podcast, Dewan was interviewed and described her parenting experiences. She revealed that she struggled to balance motherhood alongside her hectic work schedule, something that was only compounded by the fact Tatum himself had a demanding work schedule following the birth of their first daughter. Dewan revealed to the host how difficult it was at the time for both parents, revealing that she’d had to travel to and give birth in London, where Tatum was filming a project. Following the birth of Everly, Dewan then had to go back to work, saying: “It was me, my doula and [Everly], all by ourselves, traveling when she was 6, 7 weeks, to Vancouver.”

“Thinking ignorance is bliss, I thought, ‘Ok, I think I can do that. You know, it’ll be like 2 months after, and I’ll be able to have her on set,’” said Dewan. “That was really hard. Because that was long hours. I did have her on set with me constantly – it was just really difficult.” 

The actress explained that along with her busy schedule, without Tatum there due to his work schedule, she developed postpartum anxiety. “I had a lot of postpartum anxiety,” she said. “It was like I just never stopped. You know, you’re up a couple times in the night, and you’re working all day. I was breastfeeding, I was pumping, I was without a partner. I mean, it was just craziness.”

While Dewan’s openness about her experience should be applauded, publications have been quick to brand it as the actress hitting out against Tatum, with some even going so far as to publish salacious gossip and headlines that conjure images of Tatum being an absent dad, which is far from the case. It’s forced Dewan to share a message to her personal Instagram, in which she wrote: “It’s unfortunate that countless media outlets have taken an important conversation on a woman’s experience with postpartum issues and pulled quotes to make it appear that I was slamming my daughter’s father, something I would never do.”

Dewan continued: “As two working parents, we both faced challenges at the time, but I speak only for myself and not about him. Anyone who actually listens to the interview, something I encourage everyone to do, will clearly see that my words have been distorted for clicks and to push false, salacious gossip with no regard for the actual people involved, or the message intended.” 

It’s a disappointing moment, particularly in 2021. At a time where we should be lifting each other up and talking openly about postpartum issues without shame or judgment, instead the media has turned Dewan’s personal experience into one intended to drive clicks and cast two Hollywood stars into the spotlight.

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