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Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, by Brooke Shields

This book chronicles Brooke Shields' battle with postpartum depression, made famous by her public feud with Tom Cruise, for which he later apologized. Ironically, one of the obstacles to Ms. Shields' recovery was her reluctance to use antidepressants:

The idea of taking medicine to deal with a psychological problem scared me. I had always believed I could solve my own problems in a natural and healthy way and was ashamed by the thought that I might need drugs. I came from a family of alcoholics and feared addiction myself. But the truth was that everyone was thriving in my household except me.
When I saw that she was endorsing a brand of baby formula, I was disappointed and lost a great deal of respect for Ms. Shields. However, the story of her meeting with the company's execs reflect the marketing techniques used by formula companies to undermine breastfeeding:

They kept reiterating that "breast is and always will be best," but that not everyone can or chooses to breast-feed. I had many reservations about formula and never would have considered using it had I not met this team of professionals. They insisted that they did not expect me to use only formula, but if Rowan liked Bright Beginnings, and if I was willing to use it as a supplement, then we would have a good relationship. They suggested I talk to my doctor to feel better about introducing formula and then call them. They said all the right things to make me feel secure about the benefits of their product, and I wouldn't have to stop breast-feeding, either. We continued to discuss the positive effects of their product, and they gave me a can to take home. I left the meeting and then went to discuss it all with my agent.
They obviously have a lot of practice feeding that marketing message, because it has worked on hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mothers each year.

The major criticism I have of this book is that it just drags on toward the end. We get a play-by-play description of Rowan's first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, which does nothing to "advance the plot"of the book, so to speak. Maybe there was a page quota she had to meet.

Overall, I liked the book and found it interesting and helpful.


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