CT mom says new postpartum depression drug would have been a gamechanger for her

CT mom says new postpartum depression drug would have been a gamechanger for her
Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - One in seven mothers develop postpartum depression after childbirth, according to the National Library of Medicine.

To combat the mental illness, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first pill for postpartum depression.

Channel 3 spoke to Emily Ouellet, a stay-at-home mother, who said the medication could have been a gamechanger.

To her, 2 years ago felt like another lifetime.

“The minute my son came out, I was miserable, I was confused, I was angry, and I was scared,” Ouellet said.

The first-time mom said she had thoughts and feelings she never had before. She even suffered from psychosis, which is when a person loses contact with reality.

When she began to be unrecognizable to herself and her loved ones, she said she decided to get help.

It was 6 months after giving birth to her son Roland.

“I went back to the OBGYN,” Ouellet said. “I was outpatient for 11 weeks, a lot of medication management and group therapy.”

Ouellet said she was not in a group specifically designed for moms with postpartum.

In fact, she said she found that resources and clinics in Connecticut for moms w postpartum to be few and far between.

However, days ago, the FDA announced that it approved a universal option to help new moms. The brand name is called Zurzuvae.

“The innovation of this new medicine is that it’s specifically for postpartum depression,” said Karen Steinberg Gallucci, associate professor of psychiatry at UCONN Health and a clinical psychologist. “It has a different mechanism of action. It’s a neuro active steroid.”

Gallucci said postpartum depression can be identified as persistent feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, fear of not being a good parent, and thoughts of suicide.

“I hid mine and I was like drowning,” Ouellet said. “I think that women should really just take a step back and focus on yourself.”

Oullet said moms feeling a similar way should contact their OBGYN.

She said she found that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’m so thankful I get to be in his life,” she said. “I love him, I absolutely love him.”

According to the drug manufacturer, Zurzuvae could be available as soon as October.