Brooke Shields' Long And Uneasy Recovery From Postpartum Depression To Become A Happy And Loving Mom

Date January 3, 2018

Brooke Shields always wanted to be a mom but struggled to get pregnant for a while. When she and her husband, Chris Henchy, learned the happy news back in 2002, it seemed like the toughest part of it was over.

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However, the Blue Lagoon star had to face one more difficult challenge – postpartum depression.

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What is postpartum depression?

While many mothers experience the so-called “baby blues” shortly after giving birth, postpartum depression is a more serious and dangerous problem. Postpartum depression is a “severe form of clinical depression related to pregnancy and childbirth,” as WebMD explains it. According to several studies and reports, it affects around 10% of new moms.

Women with postpartum depression often find themselves unable to bond with their child and experience negative feelings, like hopelessness, sadness, shame, and guilt. In some cases, they may even have suicidal thoughts.

Brooke Shields' story of battling postpartum depression

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Among the main risk factors, doctors name difficulties with conceiving, complicated labor, or a loss of a loved one. And in Brooke Shields' case, she had all three of them. First, she had to have an in vitro fertilization in order to become pregnant with Rowan.


Secondly, even though her pregnancy was “picture perfect,” as Brooke described it in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, giving birth was not that easy. After being in labors for about 24 hours, she had to undergo an emergency C-section.

And thirdly, the woman lost her father just three weeks before her daughter was born.


The actress recalled feeling rage for the first time when she saw her husband holding their newborn daughter. Later, she would find herself struggling to bond with her baby girl.

I had no desire to even pretend to care about her. And it absolutely terrified me.

At first, Brooke believed she was having a severe form of these “baby blues”, but eventually, some of her friends suggested it may be postpartum depression. The actress went to see a doctor and started taking anti-depressants. Shortly after, she finally began feeling better and got a chance to build these amazing mommy-daughter relationships she wanted to have with Rowan.


In 2005, Brooke released a book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, sharing her personal drama for the first time. She started talking openly about the problem of postpartum depression and gave many new moms the emotional support they needed so much.

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And just a year later, in 2006, the legendary actress and her loving husband welcomed their second daughter – Grier Hammond.

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Today, Brooke Shields inspires other women to not feel ashamed and ask for help, thus making the first and the most important step toward combating postpartum depression.

READ ALSO: Sweet Kids From ‘Blue Lagoon’ Paradise: 37 Years After The Film Premiere

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