The Medical Condition Brooke Shields' Daughter Rowan Was Diagnosed With At A Young Age

Fans of iconic model and actress Brooke Shields are likely familiar with her two daughters, Rowan and Grier. While the Shields-Henchy family typically leads a somewhat private existence, Shields occasionally shares glimpses into their shared lives, such as when her daughter Rowan honored a famous moment from her past at prom.

Shields also provided one of these glimpses shortly after her oldest daughter was born, speaking about the medical conditions Rowan faced during infancy in interviews and her memoir. The oldest Henchy daughter was diagnosed with hip dysplasia as a newborn, which refers to issues with the hip joint. Additionally, she also suffered from jaundice, a yellowing of the skin that results from excess bilirubin in the blood and affects three in five babies.

Simultaneously, Shields was suffering from post-partum depression, an experience that she recounts in her 2005 memoir, "Down Came The Rain: My Journey Through Postnatal Depression." Here's a look back at Rowan's early struggles with hip dysplasia and everything her mother has said about the experience.

Hip dysplasia and Rowan's experience with the condition

Hip dysplasia, also known as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH) in infants, is defined by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as "a general term for infantile hip instability, dislocation, or shallowness of the hip socket." While one in 10 newborns suffer from hip instability, about one in 100 require treatment for DDH.

In her book "Down Came the Rain," Brooke Shields talks about how her daughter Rowan was treated for DDH as a newborn. "Rowan had been put in a leg and body harness because the balls at the tops of her thighbones weren't fitting properly into the hip sockets," the model writes. "Evidently, when women are pregnant, they secrete a hormone that makes their hips widen for childbirth. Sometimes babies, especially girls, react to this hormone in utero and are born with their hip sockets not completely formed. Then the baby has to wear a harness to keep the tops of the thighbones in place until the hip sockets develop properly."

According to People, Shields was at least able to lean on her medical team for support. "When you're a new parent and you have a child that has any kind of special need you rely so much not only on the ability of your surgeon or your doctor but the compassion," Shields shared in an interview, adding that she'd ring her doctor at Children's Hospital Los Angeles when any issues came up.

Both mom and baby struggled with the treatment

Brooke Shields has shared the difficult details of Rowan's DDH treatment, which coincided with her personal experience with postnatal depression. She writes, "The sight of this tiny baby all strapped in a harness and lit up like a Christmas tree was heartbreaking ... The physician swore she was in no pain and that it was usually more uncomfortable for the parents to see their baby in this contraption."

While any such infantile medical condition would be challenging for a parent, the "Suddenly Susan" star cataloged how the effects of depression affected her early experiences with motherhood. This influence can be seen specifically in an instance when her husband, Chris Henchy, stepped in to take care of a diaper change that she struggled with due to her carpal tunnel symptoms. "Chris had to come to the rescue, and I labored back to bed, frustrated and in pain," the "Pretty Baby" actress shares. "As Chris adeptly navigated the industrial-strength Velcro attachments of the baby contraption and wrestled with her harness, [Rowan] screamed. Her screams echoed through the whole apartment. Though spacious, the place started to feel very small. I stayed on the bed and stared at an empty wall in front of me."

Post-partum depression in mothers and hip dysplasia in infants are both relatively common occurrences, so hopefully anyone who is similarly facing such challenges can find solace in this shared experience. Otherwise, we're glad to see that the mother-daughter duo is thriving in the present day.