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Emily Maynard reveals she got Bell's palsy during pregnancy with 5th child

The former "Bachelorette" star revealed she was diagnosed with the condition during her pregnancy with daughter Magnolia Belle.
/ Source: TODAY

Emily Maynard recapped her highs and lows of 2020 on her Instagram story and revealed that she had Bell's palsy when she was pregnant with her fifth child, Magnolia Belle.

The former "Bachelorette" star, 34, shared a photo of herself laying down and wearing a mask over one eye in September 2020, one month before she welcomed her baby girl.

emily maynard with bell's palsy
Emily Maynard from her Instagram story.Emily Maynard / Instagram

“Got Bells Palsy and had to wear a patch,” Maynard wrote on the photo, which she shared publicly for the first time on New Year's Day.

Bell's palsy symptoms include muscle weakness, drooling, twitching, paralysis and a drooping eyelid or corner of the mouth, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition often happens quickly and is triggered when a nerve in the face becomes swollen or inflamed.

Maynard said she previously had Bell's palsy in high school. The condition can occur at any age and for most people, it's temporary.

Emily Maynard Instagram story
Maynard, 34, opened up about her second experience with Bell's palsy.emilygmaynard / Instagram

"I had it in high school and lucky me am one of the very few people that get it twice," she wrote on her Instagram story. "It started with a bad headache that got progressively worse and went into my jaw. Thought it was an ear infection but then woke up one morning and couldn't spit out my toothpaste or put on mascara. I knew exactly what it was so doctor prescribed me a steroid."

Maynard said isn't sure what caused her Bell's palsy, but that it "got worse before it got better." Every morning, she said she would wake up and "run to the mirror to see if I could wink or whistle."

"I thought my age 34 I was free of the vanity I cherished so much in my 20's but there's something very humbling about being 9 months pregnant and not able to move half of your face!" she said. "I cried a lot and felt horrible but thankfully it got better day by day."

Maynard and husband Tyler Johnson have been married since 2014. In addition to newborn Magnolia Belle, they're parents to sons Jennings, 5, Gibson, 4 and Gatlin, 2. Maynard also has a 15-year-old daughter, Josephine, with the late race car driver Ricky Hendrick, who died in a 2004 plane crash.

Despite her prominent social media presence, the Bachelor Nation fan favorite opted to keep her pregnancy a secret and didn't announce it until days before her daughter was born last October. Maynard also addressed her reasoning on Friday.

Emily Maynard Instagram story
Despite her prominent social media presence, the Bachelor Nation fan favorite opted to keep her pregnancy a secret.emilygmaynard / Instagram

"Lots of questions why I chose not to tell people about my pregnancy: Honestly no real answer or plan,” she wrote. "Lots going on in the world at the time and social media/news gave me anxiety, so I just never put it on Instagram. After a while we decided it would be fun to just surprise everyone with a new baby!"