Why Shay Mitchell Received Backlash Post-Baby

Actor Shay Mitchell is opening up about her post-baby life, and what her prepartum depression taught her about motherhood.

Mitchell welcomed a baby girl named Atlas Noa Babel with boyfriend Matte Babel in October 2019. Her journey into motherhood quickly hit the "pause button" on her life and career, and the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic just months after giving birth didn't help. "Everything just went whoooomp," said Mitchell in an interview with Women's Health.

According to the outlet, the "Pretty Little Liars" alum battled prepartum depression before the arrival of her daughter, yet her strength during pregnancy inspired her to find new strength post-baby. "I was strong before I had Atlas, and I wanted to feel that way after," said the actor. "We celebrate our bodies before we're pregnant; we celebrate our bodies with bumps. We should also celebrate our bodies at whatever point we feel our best again."

In January 2021, Mitchell took steps to feel her best again and get back to work by partnering with Openfit, a fitness program with daily workouts, and "it changed everything" for her. "I had way more energy; I don't have five cups of coffee anymore," Mitchell explained. "I can sound preachy when I'm talking about it, but it totally altered my year." 

The actor shared her journey on social media but, unfortunately, was met with some backlash. Here's why.

Shay Mitchell says she is "allowed to express" when she doesn't "feel" herself

In an Instagram post shared in February 2021, actor Shay Mitchell opened up to fans about how the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused the actor to search for ways to feel "normal." Mitchell admitted that for her, "that came in the form of comfort food, comfort clothes and throwing my fitness routine out the window." In the before and after photo of Mitchell in just a sports bra and shorts, the actor revealed that upon joining Openfit in 2021 she decided to focus on herself and her health, but the fans weren't having it.

The comments section filled with those calling out the star for simply taking the same photo at different angles or not recognizing her post-baby body. "Right after I had Atlas, if I ever made a comment about how I didn't feel like myself, people were like, 'Well, you just had a baby.' Yeah, I know I just had a baby," said Mitchell to Women's Health. "I'm very grateful for my body, and that it gave life, but I'm still allowed to express that I don't feel like myself."

Despite the haters, Mitchell continued on with her new health goals pointing to some advice she got from her doula. "A new version of you will be birthed with this baby," the actor recalled being told. "Yes, you are going to lose something — but what you gain, obviously, is so worth it."