Brooke Shields Reveals Daughters' Reactions to Talk of Postpartum Depression in New Documentary

Brooke Shields shares how she spoke about her postpartum depression with her two daughters

Dave Kotinsky/Getty
Dave Kotinsky/Getty

Eighteen years ago, Brooke Shields was one of the first high-profile names to come forward to share her experience of postpartum depression after the birth of her eldest daughter, Rowan. It's a subject she explores again in her upcoming Hulu two-part documentary Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields.

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, the actress, 57, opened up about the conversations she had with her two daughters, Rowan, 19, and Grier, 16, about what they would see in the film, including her experience with postpartum depression — a topic she first wrote about in her 2005 memoir, Down Came The Rain.

"I talked to them about it, and my younger daughter [Grier] said, 'I will never read your book,'" recalls Shields. "My older daughter [Rowan] said, 'I will read your book. But not now, later.'"

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Related:Brooke Shields Says She Bonds with Other Moms Over Struggle of Sending Kids Off to College

"I said to her, 'You know, the important piece that I want you to take away is that I never wanted to hurt you, but I wanted to disappear," says Shields. "And I was very sick and so unhealthy that I had visions of terrible things happening to you and that I was helpless and I couldn't help you. So that made me realize that I couldn't do it and I needed to go away.'"

Shields continues, "And I said, 'I just want you to know that it wasn't me having any anger towards you. I was very, very sick.'"

The actress was met with reassurance from Rowan, who told her, "Mom, I'm still here."


For her younger daughter, Grier, it was difficult to see some of the challenges her mom had experienced.

"I tried to explain it to her, and say, 'But look at us, look at me. I'm okay. We're all okay. I had another baby,' " says Shields.

"She said, "Mom, It is very difficult for me to watch bad things happen to you, so I'm just going to need time, and I'll get past it." And I'm like, 'Okay.'"

It's all part of an open dialogue the mom of two shares with her daughters and how they've learned from one another.

"They talk about things differently than we ever did," she says. "Nobody ever asked our opinion. No one was interested in your having an opinion...So to have these opinionated young women, I kind of think 'Wow, this is a different era.'"

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields will stream on Hulu on April 3.

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Read the original article on People.