Meghan Trainor Diagnosed With PTSD After Son Riley's "Traumatic" Birth

Meghan Trainor detailed her son Riley's birth—and subsequent stay at the neonatal intensive care unit—in her new book Dear Future Mama: "I wasn't sure if my baby could even breathe."

By Gabrielle Chung Apr 21, 2023 10:27 PMTags
Watch: Meghan Trainor Diagnosed With PTSD After Son's Birth

Meghan Trainor is getting candid about her childbirth experience.

The singer shared she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the birth of her son Riley, who she welcomed with husband Daryl Sabara's via cesarean section in 2021. According to Meghan, she sought mental health help after being plagued with flashbacks of herself laying helplessly on the surgical table as nurses rushed Riley to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for respiratory issues.

"I couldn't go to sleep at night. I would be in tears and tell Daryl, 'I'm still on that table, dude. I'm trapped there. I can't remind myself I'm in bed and I'm safe at home,'" she recounted to People in an April 21 article. "I had to learn how traumatic it was."

Meghan said she ultimately "worked through it" with a therapist and the experience led her to write Dear Future Mama, a motherhood guide featuring anecdotes from the 29-year-old about her pregnancy and postpartum journey. In an excerpt from the book published by People, Meghan detailed her C-section and how the energy in the room became "tense" when Riley started having trouble breathing.

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"Daryl's face was panicked, but as freaked out as I felt inside, the drugs I'd been given for the surgery wouldn't let me panic," she wrote, before recalling how the doctor advised Daryl to accompany Riley to the NICU while Meghan remained on the table. "Good thing I was drugged, or I'd have jumped up with a gaping hole in my belly and run right after them."

While in surgery, the Grammy winner was "devastated" that she couldn't be with her newborn son and the Spy Kids actor.


"I was alone, without Daryl or Riley, and I wasn't sure if my baby could even breathe," she wrote. "Would he be okay? Would Daryl be okay, up there on his own with this crisis? The drugs and the stress made it seem like everything was happening in slow motion."

And while the doctor did try to lighten the mood by cracking a few jokes, Meghan said she "couldn't laugh."

"I tried to get myself to take a nap to make the time pass faster," she remembered, "but I knew where I was and the reality I was facing, and it was too scary to fall asleep."

Fortunately, Meghan was able to FaceTime Daryl and Riley in the NICU once she was taken into a recovery room. There, Meghan wrote, "I cried when I saw all the tubes and cords connected to him. He felt so far away. But I was also distracted by his beauty and by the fact that he was a real person out in the world. I couldn't wait to hold him, rock him, nurse him, kiss him."

The "Mother" singer was reunited with Riley two days later—a recovery period she described as a "torture to know that he was so close and yet out of my reach."

"The NICU is a really special place," she remarked. "No parent ever expects that their child will be there, but the people who work there have dedicated their lives to helping these little babies survive and thrive."


While seeing their son in the NICU was hard, Meghan wrote she and Daryl "felt blessed knowing that what Riley was going through was survivable."

"It took five days in the NICU to finally get Riley cleared to come home," Meghan recalled, explaining how she and Daryl spent the night with their son right before he was released. "We all snuggled in the hospital bed together and talked about how beautiful he was. And the next morning, we packed our bags and headed home."

Meghan and Daryl, 30, are currently expecting their second child together.

Dear Future Mama is out April 25.

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