The Mother's Act

Actress Brooke Shields was in Washington to endorse a bill aimed at helping new mothers cope with the potentially devastating condition. Tara Mergener has more.

"Ignorance is a potentially deadly, deadly thing," Shields said.

Shields told senators she learned about post-partum depression the hard way - after the birth of her daughter.

"I was incapable of holding or looking at or kissing or singing to my perfect tiny little baby," Shields said

Mothers who suffer from the condition may have feelings of overwhelming sadness or even consider harming themselves or their baby. Shields, who has written a book about her experience, was on Capitol Hill on May 11, 2007, to introduce the Mother's Act.

Mother's Act is legislation that would initiate new federal investment in postpartum education, detection and treatment.

"All too many women are unaware of the condition and go without the treatment they so desperately need," Senator Robert Menendez said.

Shields has been vocal about her experience. Last year, she got into a public war of words with Tom Cruise after she touted prescription drugs for new mothers suffering from postpartum depression. Cruise opposes the drugs saying they only mask the problem. Shield's says mothers everywhere deserve information.

"It's an easy gift to give women everywhere," Shields said.

I'm Tara Mergener, reporting from Washington.

Similar legislation to help new mother's learn about and deal with post-partum depression has already been introduced in the House.