THE NEWS: The FDA recently approved a new drug for women suffering from postpartum depression, but it won’t come cheap. Zulresso (or Brexanolone), the first drug specifically designed to treat PPD, is a 60-hour injection that will cost at least $20,000—and that hefty price tag doesn’t include the overnight stays at the administering clinic. On the plus side, the drug has been shown to work rapidly, in as little as 48 hours.
HOW TO GET HELP: If you believe you’re suffering from PPD, or if you know someone who might be:
- Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional as soon as possible. Or you can even reach out directly to a Baptist Health doctor using their Care on Demand app.
- Call (800) 944-4773 or (305) 740-8998 to find local support through Postpartum Support International.
- Visit postpartum.net for Miami-based resources.
THE ISSUE: Many new mothers experience some form of “baby blues” within the first few weeks after giving birth, including mood swings, mild unhappiness, and fatigue. But postpartum depression—which affects 15% of mothers—lasts much longer and typically involves more extreme feelings of anxiety and sadness. PPD can make it difficult for affected mothers to take care of themselves or their children.
THE WARNING SIGNS: If you’ve recently had a baby or are close to someone who has, it’s important to be aware of PPD’s symptoms. These include feelings of sadness, anger, rage, or guilt; uncontrollable crying; difficulty eating or sleeping (even while the baby is sleeping); and thoughts of suicide, death, or harming the baby. Psychologist Silvia Bermudez, Ph.D., a member of Baptist Health’s PPD screening task force, says, “It’s important that patients realize this is a medical issue and that they need help [ . . . ] Children do better when the mother is emotionally well and stable.”
While the expensive drug may be the newest PPD treatment, it isn’t the only option. Local resources are ready to help.