Brooke Shields Takes Up Postpartum Depression in D.C.

Newsman's special documents friend's struggle.

ByABC News

May 13, 2007 — -- Actress Brooke Shields took her star power to Capitol Hill this week, pushing Congress to pass the "Mother's Act," legislation introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., that would help new mothers suffering from postpartum depression by providing funding for education, screening, treatment and research.

Shields: We are taught that being a mother and becoming a mother is the most glorious thing you could ever do. It's the most natural thing. If you don't do this beautifully, then you are wrong. You know, you're not a good mother. You're not a good woman.

After the birth of my first daughter, I experienced acute postpartum depression, but I was not really aware that I had it. It was devastating to my whole family. I had gone through numerous attempts to have a baby. And then I finally did have this perfect, beautiful, healthy baby. And it all but destroyed me.

Shields [from press conference]: The knowledge of postpartum is a tool that I believe all women deserve, and this bill represents that tool and it's an easy gift to give to women everywhere.

Shields: There is an entire population of women suffering. And it's so much more prevalent than anyone ever really, really wants to admit. And it's time, I believe, for Congress to step in and prevent that, and actually save lives and save potential tragedy.

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