Baton Rouge General First in South Louisiana to Provide New Treatment for Postpartum Depression

Baton Rouge General First in South Louisiana to Provide New Treatment for Postpartum Depression

BATON ROUGE, La. – Baton Rouge General is the first hospital in South Louisiana to offer a new treatment for postpartum depression (PPD). PPD affects an estimated one in nine women in the U.S., either during pregnancy or after childbirth. Symptoms include sadness, anxiety, irritability, withdrawal from friends or family, trouble bonding with the baby, thoughts about self-harm, or more rarely, the baby.

Zulresso, the first and only medicine specifically approved to treat PPD, is delivered via continuous IV over about 60 hours and can potentially treat the depressive symptoms of PPD rapidly. Before Zulresso, the typical treatment for postpartum depression includes prescription antidepressants and/or psychotherapy, with patients recovering within two to four weeks.

“This new therapy works differently than any treatment option we’ve had before,” said Dr. Candee Moore, an OB/GYN at Baton Rouge General. “Instead of weeks, patients can see improvement in their symptoms within days. And the sooner they feel like themselves, the sooner they can enjoy life again at home and work.”

The treatment is available at BRG’s Birth Center to any woman suffering from postpartum depression. Patients are admitted into Birth Center for two to three nights to receive the IV medication. Moms are allowed to bring their babies with them, as long as they have a support person who can be there to care for the baby. Moms can breastfeed and/or pump during treatment, as long as they are cleared by their OB/GYN to do so safely.

“Postpartum depression is far more common than people realize, and our team is proud to be the only hospital in south Louisiana providing this much-needed care for new moms at such a sensitive time in their lives,” said Erika Moss, RN, Director of Women’s Services.

Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in March, Zulresso must be administered in health care facilities certified under the Zulresso Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program due to potential side effects during treatment. Throughout their IV process, patients are under observation for excessive sedation and sudden loss of consciousness, as well as continuous monitoring of their blood oxygen level.

Patients may be diagnosed with PPD through a standard screening for depression, which is conducted by their obstetrician. Some women may seek help on their own or be encouraged to seek care by family or friends.

“There are times when women go undiagnosed and don’t receive treatment,” Dr. Moore said. “With this new treatment and spotlight being placed on postpartum depression, the hope is that more women will be accurately diagnosed and receive the care they need.”

Without treatment, PPD can last a year or more, and it can become a problem that patients may struggle with throughout their lifetime. Risk factors for PPD include:

  • Prior history of depression or anxiety
  • Difficult pregnancy
  • Difficult delivery
  • Having a newborn in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Relationship discord
  • Prior history of PPD

For more information, call (225) 763-4103 or click here.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit BRGeneral.org, find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BatonRougeGeneral and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.

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