Nikki Bella has a message for her fellow moms.
The Total Bellas star has been candid about her struggle with postpartum depression after welcoming her son Matteo with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev on July 31—even revealing she had "a massive breakdown" weeks after giving birth—and on the Tuesday, Dec. 22 episode of Ashley Graham's Pretty Big Deal podcast, Nikki made it clear that she wants to remain that way: open and honest.
"What I've realized is, as moms, we don't talk about that enough because I think we feel like everyone then automatically thinks we hate our baby if we say we have postpartum depression, which, that's not it at all," Nikki explained alongside her identical twin sister Brie Bella. "It's totally the battle within yourself, within your partner [or] significant other. Especially, I think, for career women."
The former WWE star continued, "We go from like these major careers and then we're here. And then I'm looking in the mirror and then I think us, in the spotlight, we have so much pressure on us to get back to where we were in a short amount of time."
Ah, "the snapback," as Ashley described it. "It's bulls--t."
"It's SUCH bulls--t!" Nikki and Brie responded in unison.
"It messes with you," Nikki added. "Literally, someone the other day was like, 'Gosh, she's still big!' and I was like 'Excuse me?'"
Thankfully, Brie talked her down from confronting the person. In addition to having a supportive sister, Nikki revealed she's now working with a life coach, too.
"She makes me like grab parts of my body I don't like and then I say, like, 'Thank you for creating Matteo and making him healthy,'" the 37 year old explained. "And [I'm] appreciating and loving my body."
Nikki and Artem also work with a life coach as a couple. She described the process as similar to therapy, but more hands-on and with "homework."
Overall, Nikki's "doing a lot better," but she did mention that when Total Bellas returns in January, fans will get an unfiltered look at how she's been struggling with postpartum depression.
"This was the first time that, mentally, I was trying to have a fight and I was losing," Nikki recalled. "I'm like, 'What is happening inside? Like, how am I trying to fight these feelings and I can't?'"
"It was really hard on me," she continued, "and it's gonna be hard with Total Bellas because I still was filming and I recently watched the two episodes and I go, 'Brie, I'm gonna be hated because what if people don't understand postpartum depression?' Like, you completely see me just falling apart as a human being and as a mom."
Ultimately, though, Nikki said she knows that showing this side of her is important. "I want to put it out there because it's a real thing," she added. "And I like to show how people around you adapt to that and how you can help yourself."
Listen to the complete episode of Pretty Big Deal here.