'Teen Mom OG' Star Amber Portwood Reveals Her Sister Died of SIDS

Amber Portwood is opening up about her sister's devastating death more than two decades after the traumatic childhood incident.

In Tuesday's Teen Mom OG: Unseen Moments special, the MTV personality revealed that her younger sister died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome when she was only 5 years old.

Portwood, 28, brought up her trauma while discussing the care of her infant son James with boyfriend Andrew Glennon, saying that while she was "running on empty," she wasn't comfortable bringing in outside help for his care.

"The thing is, my sister died from SIDS when I was 5," Portwood told him. "She was an infant just like him. And it's really scary for us. And I just feel like I want to be the one watching him."

"It was hard," she continued. "I remember watching them bringing her out on a stretcher. … It's one of the worst things that I've ever really seen in my life."

While it's the first time Portwood brought up her sister's SIDS death, the impact of that moment has extended into her parenting 10-year-old daughter Leah with ex Gary Shirley.

"It's just like with Leah, you know, when she had the sleep apnea, me and Gary brought her straight into the hospital to get the testing done because we were so scared about it," she said. "So it's not a bad thing to get help when you're tired and you need sleep, but it means a little bit more to me than what people know."

After the birth of James, Portwood has been open about her struggle with postpartum depression.

"It went from taking care of James so amazingly to one night I had to give him to Andrew," Portwood told Dr. Drew Pinsky during the Season 8 reunion special. "I couldn't, I don't know what happened. I've never felt anything like it, I never felt like that with Leah. It started feeling like a weird pressure, like I could explode."

She even experienced suicidal thoughts, she revealed.

"There was one night in California where I said to Andrew, 'Just go to sleep, go to sleep. Take James with you.' I was going to hang myself," she explained, crying. "That's real s—."

It was this, plus the online bullying of fans, that led Portwood to declare she needed to take a break from the MTV reality show.

"I come home, I try to talk to loving fans who I adore. I help so many f—ing people and I gotta deal with people calling me a bad mom and this that and the other when I'm going through this s—. I'm done. I'm done with this show, I f—ing quit," she said. "This show is done."

If you're thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.


Teen Mom 2 Season 9 premieres Monday, Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.

Photo credit: MTV