Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere welcomed her daughter in December 2014Getty

Nashville actress Hayden Panettiere has revealed her heart-breaking struggle with postnatal depression after giving birth to her first child. Speaking to US Weekly , the 26-year-old star, who welcomed daughter Kaya with boxer partner Wladimir Klitschko in December, opened up about her darkest days in a bid to raise awareness.

Offering solidarity and support to other women who may have battled with the condition, she told the publication: "I suffered a bit of postpartum depression. You're not alone or crazy, ladies!"

Despite her traumatic experience, Panettiere is determined to grow her family. Appearing on Live with Kelly and Michael the pint-sized beauty discussed her desire for more children.

"I always said four," the former Heroes star told the breakfast TV hosts, "but I'm not going to speak too soon. One at a time. I mean, I would love it if Wlad figured out a way to get pregnant and he could have the baby."

When quizzed about how the world heavyweight champion felt about her fantastical plans she revealed that he was on-board. "I asked him this question... He's going to be like, 'I can't believe you told them!'

"But when I was pregnant, he did this thing where he would suck in his stomach and then I would put my stomach to his so that he could feel when she was moving – almost like she was in his stomach.

She added: "He wanted to feel what it was like to have a baby as close to him as it was to me."

Panettiere is not alone. Stars including Stacey Solomon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Courtney Cox have all admitted to suffering from postnatal depression, which affects at least 1 in 10 mums.

Cox described her baby blues as a delayed case of postpartum depression, telling Us Weekly: "I went through a really hard time — not right after the baby, but when [Coco] turned 6 months. I couldn't sleep," the actress said. "My heart was racing. And I got really depressed. I went to the doctor and found out my hormones had been pummelled."