LANE COUNTY, Ore. - As many as 400,000 women in the U.S. suffer from postpartum depression each year.
Last week, the first drug for postpartum depression was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
When Heather Gray first became a mom six years ago, she knew something wasn't right.
"What people describe as a rush of instant love and I didn't feel that, I just felt disconnected,” said Gray.
Like thousands of women, the mother of two was suffering from postpartum depression.
"I had daily panic attacks, I was not bonding with my baby, I had the classic symptoms of not feeling joy,” she said.
Heather found help through WellMama, a nonprofit that helps women struggling with the emotional toll of pregnancy, infertility, and motherhood.
"I started to feel better seeing a counselor probably in the first two months and then it took the first year to do really feel almost myself totally,” said Gray.
And more help is on the way. The FDA recently approved the first drug specifically developed for postpartum depression. Brooke Kyle, Women's Care Physician at Riverbend says the drug, Zulresso, is promising.
"We are hopeful that it might work more quickly than two or three weeks like the other medicines that we have,” said Dr. Kyle. “Two studies that have been done recently both showed improvement within two days.”
"Some people go months and years feeling the way that they do that they could then potentially take that away that's really awesome,” said Gray.
Heather had her second child three years ago
“Every mom wants to be a great mom and she could feel a lot of shame and guilt when she has the symptoms that she might not associate with being a great mom,” said Dr. Kyle. “But with help, all mothers can be well.”
Happy and healthy as they experience the joys of parenthood.
The postpartum depression drug is expensive, so check with your insurance provider about coverage.
For more information about WellMama and the local support they provide, visit their website here.