New postpartum depression drug is important step for career women


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I’m sure most of us read The Yellow Wallpaper in high school or our first year in college. We probably all had the 15 minute discussion in class about the severity of postpartum depression and how Charlotte Perkins Gilman advocated for women’s rights long before it was popular through literature. Her famous story first was published in 1892.

Now, 127 years later, the Washington Post reported that we finally have a drug designed to treat this condition. It is called brexanolone, or Zulresso, and it will cost over $30,000, according to the Post.  

About 400,000 women in our country each year suffer from this, the Post reported, and, “the disorder, which begins during pregnancy or within a month of childbirth, is characterized by feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or thoughts of suicide and is far more severe than the common ‘baby blues.’ The condition can interfere with a mother’s ability to bond with an infant, which can affect the baby’s development.”

This drug, while painfully late, is an important step forward for women. For so long, new mothers have suffered alone through this taboo disease and it has restricted their mental health. For career women, it has hindered their ability to transition back smoothly into the workforce.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “the transition back to employment after childbirth can be fraught with stress, confusion, and questions—all of which only compound an already stressful time and increases the likelihood of PPD or PPA in vulnerable women. Businesses serve as a powerful point of contact in helping expectant and new mothers stave off mental distress.” This article also talks about the isolation these mothers feel as they sometimes can’t or don’t ask for help.

Women face so many struggles to ensure equality for themselves in the workplace. We struggle to have our authority recognized, to make the same amount of money as our male counterparts and to have the same opportunities and advances as our male coworkers. Motherhood has been something for so long that has hindered career women, and finally we have taken a valuable step as a culture to making life a little more equal for women and for mothers.