Celebrity Families

House Rules' Chiara opens up about her heartbreaking battle with postnatal depression

'I didn't know what to do.'

By Alex Lilly

She's not afraid to dish out a bit of tough love on House Rules, but contestant Chiara Clarson has opened up about her battle with postnatal depression after the birth of her son, Seth in 2010.

Chiara, who's made it to this year's final three with husband David, spoke to The Daily Telegraph about how she struggled to connect with her newborn for six months and talk about how she was feeling.

"The day after he was born I was laying in my own filth in the bed not being able to move my legs from the caesarean with this baby on my chest."

"I just looked at him and thought 'I don't even know who you are, I just don't know how I'm supposed to love you'."

Chiara and David have three children, Seth, eight, Taya, six, and Ellie Mae, three.
Chiara and David have three children, Seth, eight, Taya, six, and Ellie Mae, three.

While David was a natural father, Chiara admits that those motherly feelings took time to develop.

"I didn't know what to do. It was a really tough time and it wasn't until he was six months old and he could sit up and giggle that I was like 'you're actually really, really cute' and my love then instantly grew."

"So many friends of mine who had kids were saying 'I was instantly in love, it's the best thing that's ever happened to me' and I kept a lid on it and kept it inside," she said.

Around one in seven new mums and one in ten new dads suffer from postnatal depression, and Chiara realised that it was not weak or embarrassing to ask for help.

"Getting it off your chest and talking about it is important, whether that's with someone professional or someone close to you.

"Seeking help is not something anyone needs to be embarrassed about. Life isn't perfect and anyone that says it is lying, it's about getting the help you need."

As the finale approaches, the Perth couple will have three big fans, their children, Seth, eight, Taya, six, and Ellie Mae, three, who have watched every episode of the show.

Speaking to *TV WEEK*, David admitted that the kids probably saw their parents in a different light while watching.

"Chiara and I never blow up in front of our kids," David, 38, says. "This might be a bit of an eye-opener for them."

"I think they're missing us so much, they're loving being able to have a bit of us with them," Chiara, 32, adds.

If you are struggling and want to talk to someone, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.