Adele Says She Experienced ‘Quite Bad’ Postpartum Depression

Adele dealt with mental health challenges after giving birth to her son that will be familiar to many new parents. In a new interview with The Face this week, the singer opened up about experiencing “really quite bad” postpartum depression when she first became a mom nine years ago. 

During the interview, Adele elaborated on something she said during her Grammys acceptance speech in 2017: that she “lost a lot” of herself in pregnancy and new motherhood. “There are definitely a few elements of myself that I don’t think I’ll ever get back,” explained Adele, who gave birth to son Angelo in 2012. “More than anything, it’s the freedom of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Going somewhere and not having to prioritize someone else.” Ever since Angelo was born, he has “obviously” been Adele’s “number one priority,” she said. 

Adele, 33, said that the demands of constantly caring for a newborn baby and the huge emotional burden of becoming a parent contributed to a decline in her mental health. “Giving, giving, giving, to a baby or a toddler, when they can’t even fucking talk to you, your brain goes a bit mushy. You’re not stimulated very much,” Adele said. “In that, I also got really quite bad postpartum depression, or postnatal as we call it [in the UK].” 

Figuring out how to answer the question of “what kind of parent do you wanna be” was challenging for Adele as well. “No one wants to be like their own parents, no matter how great parents they were or not. You learn how to be a parent on the go,” Adele said. “Or you start reading books, and that’s not right either, because it’s someone else’s experience of it and they’re all completely different.” Meanwhile, the lack of time to take care of and focus on herself made Adele feel like she lost her identity and her ability to have her own life. “Having no time to even brush my teeth, let alone write a record or hang out with my friends,” Adele said. “My friends, my hobbies, the things I like doing without a baby, are things that make me who I am. And I didn’t really have access to that for a while.” 

While Angelo is still the center of Adele’s world, the singer is now more able to balance the selflessness of parenting with her identity outside of motherhood. “It definitely gets easier as they get older, it really does,” Adele said. “I don’t think I was ever completely selfless before I had Angelo. I still have that thing where every decision I make, I think of him first.” She continued, “It still makes me mourn myself a bit every now and then. Maybe I’m not mourning anymore, maybe I’m more yearning. A little bit like: ooh, what would I do and where would I go?”

Parenting an almost nine-year-old is also “fucking fun” for Adele. “He’s brilliant. He’s a fucking comedian, like an actual comedian,” she said. “As they get older, you can take them everywhere with you and they can tell you if they’re not enjoying something, what they want, if they’re hungry or if they have a tummy ache, whatever. It’s way easier to navigate once you can really communicate with them.” 

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