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Postpartum Depression Health Center

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Out of the Blue

Brooke Shields discusses her painful struggle with postpartum depression.

Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby continued...

"Postpartum depression takes certain truths and turns them into the worst version of the truth," she asserts with the clarity of hindsight. "The truth is, your life is changed forever when you have a child, but what you don't factor in is that it might be better and it might be more enriched."

As she forges ahead with her new life, a few scars still remain.

"The scars for me are gaining peoples' trust again, and not feeling the need to bound through my life as 'happy camper lady' to prove how I can do it all and am really happy and it was just a phase," she says. She is now weaning off her medication under a doctor's guidance, as she and Chris consider growing their family.

"I would be lying if I didn't say that I was scared," she says, nervousness apparent in her voice. "I had a bad day yesterday, and my husband looked at me and said, 'Is this because you are going off the medicine?'" Rats had infested the garage of their Los Angeles home and eaten through one of Rowan's special toys. "I had to go through a series of explanations as to why I was entitled to be upset," she says ruefully as she stretches out her long legs clad in caramel-colored corduroys.

Women with a previous history of postpartum depression have about a 50% increased risk of experiencing it again with their next child, experts say.

And this is something Shields knows all too well. "I absolutely want more children, [but] I am not going to all of a sudden become a hero again and defeat the entire purpose of what I just learned. I am a perfect candidate for [another bout with] postpartum depression, and at least I know that now," she says.

"Who knows?" she continues. "I may not feel anything after this second baby, or I may plummet even further, but I am prepared," she says, adding that she plans to find a safe medication to take during her third trimester. "I will have to go through IVF again, but hopefully another parent of mine won't have passed away, and hopefully my best friend won't have just killed himself."

She admits that she is still coming to terms with her father's death and has not yet been able to visit not the home where he lived in Florida. "I honestly don't know how to deal with it. I call out in my head to both David and my dad and say, 'Come on, just please come back.'"

Despite her sorrows and struggles, Shields is showing all the signs of settling into motherhood. Already working by the time she was Rowan's age -- Shields was modeling for Ivory Snow ads at 11 months -- she is fiercely protective when it comes to the notion of her daughter following her rather glamorous path. "If she wanted [to act and model] and was able to articulate it in real terms, I would do everything in my power to make it happen," she says, "but I don't want to be out there subjecting her to any of it. However," and she says this with a proud smile, her lovely eyes twinkling, "last night at this party I made her do every trick that she has ever learned."

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