Brooke Shields: On Her Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression

When actress Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter, Rowan, into the world, something unexpected followed '- a crippling depression. Here, she talks about her pregnancy, her experience with postpartum depression (PPD) and her decision to chronicle it in her new book, Down Came the Rain.

Why did you decide to write this book?

I feel too young to write a memoir of my life, especially because I feel my life is just now becoming even more interesting and I have so much further to go in my career and in my personal life. This subject, however, became unavoidable to me, and after having experienced it so dramatically, I felt the need to share how I was altered and how those close to me were affected. It did not stem so much from a desire for catharsis as it did from an obligation to help others by shining a harsh light on the reality of PPD in my life. My longtime friend and past agent urged me to tell my story, and I found my own reasons for choosing to do so. This is a subject that is too often pushed aside or rationalized away. So many are affected, and still there is such a taboo surrounding it that many suffer in silence. I wanted to take the mute button off.

Do you think your difficulties in getting pregnant contributed to postpartum depression?

I feel a great deal of my PPD was exacerbated by the trials I endured just trying to get pregnant. However, many non-IVF mothers suffer from the same symptoms. The medication and hormone treatment I underwent helped throw my system off balance, and the failed attempts depressed me as well. But I know many moms who got pregnant naturally and had easy deliveries that experience similar emotions to those I describe in the book.

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