Posted by on October 16, 2015 - 10:35am

Written by Sarah Henning

Actress Hayden Panettiere made headlines this week when it was announced she entered a treatment facility to aid in her recovery from postpartum depression. She has been open about her struggle since giving birth to her first child in December 2014, and in doing so, has been raising awareness about this condition that many mothers experience. The Mayo Clinic defines postpartum depression as a “severe, long-lasting form of depression,” and states that it “isn't a character flaw or a weakness ... it's simply a complication of giving birth.”

Unfortunately, postpartum depression is often overlooked as being fictitious, uncontrollable, or not very serious. Panettiere points out that “there's a lot of people out there who think that it's not real, that it's not true, that it's something that's made up in their minds and, oh, it's hormones,” although in reality it can be painful and debilitating to mothers who experience it.

It is also a common condition. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that around 15% of new mothers in the United States suffer from a mental illness, such as postpartum depression, throughout or after a pregnancy. This should not be a condition that gets swept under the rug, or that women should be made to feel ashamed of. Rather, as Panettiere stated, “it's something I think that needs to be talked about and women need to know that they're not alone and that it does heal.”

For help coping with postpartum depression, or depression of any kind, reach out to a doctor. For additional resources, visit, and know that you are not alone.


CNN. (13 October, 2015). Hayden Panettiere enters treatment for postpartum depression.

Mayo Clinic. (2015). Postpartum Depression.


Posted by on July 21, 2012 - 2:14pm

Several Affordable Care Act  provisions that have "remained under the public's radar" are women's health-related, according to a Kaiser Health Newslist of 10 little-known elements of the law. The following is from the Daily Women's Health Policy Report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

One such provision reauthorizes funding through 2014 to states for sex education programs that teach students that abstinence is "the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems."

Another provision calls on the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a study on the causes and effects of postpartum depression. The law also authorized $3 million in 2010 and more funds as needed in 2011 and 2012 to support services for women at risk of postpartum depression.

The health reform law also requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide women who are breastfeeding with a private location to pump and "reasonable break time" to do so.

Another section in the law requires CDC to carry out an educational campaign targeted at young women about "the occurrence of breast cancer and the general and specific risk factors in women who may be at high risk for breast cancer based on familial, racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds such as Ashkenazi Jewish populations" (Schultz/Torres, Kaiser Health News, 7/12).