Out of the Blue
Brooke Shields discusses her painful struggle with postpartum depression.
Brooke Shields: Model Candidate continued...
Yet, "it was a surprise to me. How about that one?" she quips. "I think of
myself as aware, and all of these things were staring me in the face," she
says. But "for each individual thing, I had a justification for how I was going
to get through it to make sure it didn't bring me to my knees. I just didn't
assume I would be weakened to the point of being affected, and therein lies the
Now, two years later and seriously considering having more children, Shields
is doing what she can to remove this stigma in her new book, Down Came the
Rain, due out in May.
"There is a really unfortunate and not-so-pretty part of going through
something like this, and nobody wants to admit it, so I figured let me just
blow the lid off this, and hopefully it will be able to speak to somebody."
The good news is that treatment for postpartum depression is often extremely
effective, says women's health expert Donnica Moore, MD, president of Sapphire
Women's Health in Far Hills, N.J. "It is not like treating strep throat, where
you are 50% better in 24 hours. It takes some time," she says. Treatment
typically involves a combination of therapy and medication, along with plenty
of rest and help from family and friends. Shields did all of the above.
"Without therapy, I wouldn't have understood as much, and I think that
without medicine, I would not have been clear enough," Shields says.
"There was always a glimmer of something that kept me trying to get better,"
she says. "I attribute a lot to breastfeeding, because, for me, the physical
connection is what I really needed, whether I enjoyed it or not. Somewhere
along the line it was undeniable that she was stuck to me," she adds. "I think
that was important to my recovery."
Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby
Despite all she went through, Shields considers herself lucky. "I was able
to get help and I was able to have a support system and recognize [the
postpartum depression] relatively early," she says.
Now, she, Rowan and Chris have settled into to a comfortable, bi-coastal
routine. She just finished a run on Broadway in Wonderful Town and may do a new
sitcom in the fall. And she's taking the family to London this May where she
will star in Chicago as the publicity-hungry moll, Roxie Hart.
For the most part, Shields embraces her role as mother and cherishes each
milestone that her strawberry-haired toddler experiences, including "cozy time"
before naps, a first trip to the zoo, and graduating from a crib to a big-girl
None of this is to say that motherhood is suddenly easy. "Did I want to get
up at 1:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. last night? No. It doesn't get easier,
but you start to acclimate, and it becomes less of a burden," she admits.