14

Jun

For many women, giving birth is an exciting and life-changing experience, but for some, it doesn’t go without some repercussions.

Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that many women experience after giving birth due to fluctuations in their reproductive hormones. Some symptoms of PPD are: low mood, anxious thoughts, thoughts of separating from family, and even thoughts of suicide. All of these symptoms are concerning, especially since “10 to 20 percent of all mothers who give birth [experience postpartum depression.]”

But according to a new study, there may be a possible drug that can help alleviate this illness. Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Broder, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the UNC School of Medicine, and a head author of the study, claims that brexanolone, an allosteric modulator of GABA receptors in the brain, can help regulate the hormones that trigger PPD.

In women with severe postpartum depression, brexanolone was shown to relieve a significant amount of symptoms caused by the illness, causing their HAM-D score (a scale that measures level of depressiveness) to drop by 21 points, in comparison to the placebo group that had an 8.8-point reduction. Their symptoms remained more mild even after a 30 day period.

“To have an approved drug to treat postpartum depression…would be groundbreaking for our field and absolutely life-changing for the women who are suffering from PPD,” states Meltzer-Brody.