Anne Hathaway has announced on Instagram she’s pregnant with her second child.
She also uses the post as an opportunity to highlight that the road to pregnancy isn’t always as easy as mummy bloggers and celebrities might make it seem online.
She posted: "For everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies. Sending you extra love."
For women who struggle to conceive, social media feeds full of other people’s bumps and gender reveals can be tough. Here are some of the other famous faces who’ve spoken about their infertility or struggle to conceive.
1. Emma Thompson
Thompson and her husband Greg Wise have talked openly about their experiences with IVF. Their first child, Gaia, was born when Thompson was nearly 40, and in the years following they tried IVF again but couldn’t fall pregnant.
In a 2010 interview with The Times, she said: "For years I counted people’s children in the street and thought I’d never recover. But you do, of course." She added that when she couldn’t get pregnant again she became depressed: "It was definitely clinical depression, absolutely."
Thompson and Wise adopted Tindy Agaba, a refugee child soldier from Rwanda, when he was 16.
2. Kate Walsh
In 2015, Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh revealed she went through menopause early. On the SiriusXM radio show, she said: "I don’t have children. I’m not going to have kids. I went through early menopause." Apparently, she only got herself checked out when her sister said it was happening to her.
Walsh went on to say: "A lot more women are going through early menopause. It is really interesting. There’s this huge gift, and I do believe you ‘lean in’ and that you can have a lot. I don’t know if you can actually have it all. I think that is actually this American myth – I wouldn’t call it a dream. I think it’s a bit of a myth in that it’s this huge pressure. We’re like, wait a minute, am I ‘less than’ if I’m not a mother? If I’m not a rock star in my career? I don’t know."
3. Chrissy Teigen
Supermodel Chrissy Teigen is open and honest about all aspects of her life, and her struggles to fall pregnant were no different. On her now-cancelled show FABLife in 2015, she said: "John and I were having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened. But my gosh, it's been a process."
She talked about how tough it had been with the media scrutiny, saying: "Any time somebody asks me if I’m gonna have kids, I’m just like, ‘One day, you’re gonna ask that to the wrong girl who is really struggling, and it’s going to be really hurtful to them,’ and I hate that. Stop asking me!"
Later that year she announced on Instagram that they were expecting their first child. Since then, they’ve had a second baby and Teigen is always on hand to shut down anyone who has thoughts about the fact she conceived via IVF.
Hi Linda, thanks for asking, you complete witch. I tried for about 9 years. Anything else, let me know! https://t.co/54e9AvIqQ9— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) 30 January 2017
4. Sarah Jessica Parker
In 2009, Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick announced they were expecting twins via surrogate. The couple already had a son, but falling pregnant again wasn’t easy.
Parker told Access Hollywood: "Well, you know, we’ve been trying to expand our family for a number of years and we actually have explored a variety of ways of doing so," before settling on surrogacy.
When asked if she faced "disappointment" in not being able to fall pregnant, Parker replied: "Yeah, I mean I couldn’t pretend otherwise. It would be odd to have made this choice if I was able to, you know, have successful pregnancies since my son’s birth."
5. Brooke Shields
Like many women, Shields’s road to children wasn’t an easy one. She writes in her memoir Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression: "Everyone around me was getting pregnant. I was starting to feel bitter. Maybe I really wasn’t meant to have kids."
Shields had surgery on her cervix to remove pre-cancerous cells, and this made it difficult for her to get pregnant – she went through artificial insemination, IVF and suffered a miscarriage before giving birth to her daughter Rowan in 2003.
Afterward, she became a face for Fertility Lifelines – a helpline for people struggling with fertility. She told Fertility Today: "When you’re having trouble conceiving, it’s often tough to know where to turn for answers. And when you’re undergoing fertility treatment, it’s not always easy to find the support that you need."
To learn more about fertility issues, visit the HSE website here.