New experimental study helps women experiencing postpartum depression

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) May is maternal mental health month. There is a new study looking to help women experiencing postpartum depression.

Hummingbird Study, Postpartum Depression

Levels of certain hormones rise and then rapidly fall after giving birth. In some women, these hormone shifts may contribute to postpartum depression. According to, one in eight women will be affected by the mood disorder. It can start after childbirth or near the end of pregnancy. Postpartum shares similarities to “baby blues,” but symptoms are more severe and can last longer. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, inability to care for the new child, and suicidal thoughts. Eventually mothers will recover with treatment.

There is a new experimental study taking place across the United States for women seeking help called the “Hummingbird Study.” The study is free and uses the medication brexanolone to help rid of the symptoms. Those who take part in the study will stay in a hospital for three days, receive study medication, and be followed for a little over a month with careful monitoring.

“Women who are listening to this today who feel they are suffering with postpartum depression to get treatment,” said Dr.Meltzer-Brody at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “It is unfortunately often not recognized and not treated which is really devastating for families.”

If you had postpartum depression, your risk of having it again when you’re pregnant rises. Brody stressed any expecting mother can experience it.

To be eligible for the Hummingbird Study, a woman must be 18-45 years old, and to have given birth within the last 6 months. They need to be experiencing postpartum depression symptoms that began late in pregnancy or after childbirth.

Symptoms may get or better or worse while participating, which is why doctors will be monitoring you.

To participate or learn more about the Hummingbird Study, visit

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