Why Em Rusciano will never stop sharing her postnatal depression story.

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When Em Rusciano fell pregnant with her second child, she had a sense that “things weren’t right”.

In an interview with Mia Freedman on No Filter, the comedian, author, singer and radio host recalls the pregnancy being particularly tough.

“I didn’t want to be pregnant, it was possibly the worst thing that could happen,” the 37-year-old said.

Rusciano had recently landed a much sought after radio gig on Perth’s top rating breakfast show. At the time, she was new at it and was under an enormous amount of pressure.

“I worked the day I gave birth. I did the show and then I went to the hospital and gave birth,” she told Freedman.

Em Rusciano talk to Mia Freedman on No Filter. 

When Rusciano took her daughter Odette home, she expected to experience the “euphoria of a new child” like she had with her first daughter, Marchella.

“I knew how I should be feeling. But every time I reached in trying to find those feelings I came up empty. For me…I went the opposite way, I was numb.

“It felt like an out of body experience, I was watching myself with a child, I didn’t have the feelings I knew I should have had…” she said.

Five weeks after giving birth, still bearing the stitches from her caesarean section, Rusciano returned to work.

“I was yelling at everyone, I was crying, I was having to lock myself in rooms. Tiny things were driving me to the brink,” she told Freedman.

“I couldn’t find anything. And I wasn’t sleeping. Every time Odette cried I resented her.”

In the space of six months, Rusciano had started a new job, given birth and was organising a wedding.


Then one day, when her alarm sounded, she turned to her partner Scott and said “I can’t do it”.

Confused by the statement, he asked “You can’t do what?”

She replied; “life”.

It was at this moment they both realised she needed help.

Rusciano saw her local GP, thinking she might need some iron tablets. He asked her what was wrong, and after a few moments told her that she’d just checked every box for postnatal depression.

Early morning ancient city runs.

A photo posted by e m r u s c i a n o (@emrusciano) on

At first she felt resistant, but that quickly gave way to an overwhelming sense of relief.

“I went into really full on cognitive therapy,” Rusciano recounted. She was also prescribed medication, but experienced a myriad of unpleasant side effects, so decided to explore other treatment options.

During that period, Rusciano also decided to disclose on air, alongside her male co-hosts, that she was suffering from postnatal depression.

“This was new ground…this was serious,” she said.

As soon as she began speaking, the phone calls and the emails came flooding in.

“I became addicted to that notion of telling the truth to help other people,” Rusciano said.

And it is that “addiction” which has empowered, and continues to empower, so many women everyday.

You can listen to the full episode of No Filter with Em Rusciano here. 

Check out all our podcasts and any books mentioned in any of our shows at


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