Postpartum Depression Costs Louisiana Hundreds of Millions Each Year New Study Finds

April 16, 2024 9:38 PM | Susan East Nelson (Administrator)

Postpartum Depression Costs Louisiana Hundreds of Millions Each Year New Study Finds

Taxpayers bare the burden of economic, healthcare, and societal costs related to untreated postpartum depression

Baton Rouge, LA – A new study commissioned by the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families shows that Postpartum Depression (PPD), a condition afflicting approximately 7,500 mothers in Louisiana, costs the state economy an estimated $280 million over a five-year period. Conducted by Louisiana State University Professor Emeritus Dr. James A. Richardson, the study found that economic losses to the state within the first of the five-year sampling amounted to an estimated $151 million.

“Louisiana’s elected officials need to understand that the consequences of untreated PPD go well beyond the suffering experienced by afflicted mothers,” stated Susan East Nelson, Executive Director of Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families. “This is a public health crisis that has ripple effects for all of us – and the funding needed to address it this legislative session pales in comparison to the costs of letting it persist in our state.”

Citing the Cleveland Clinic, the study defines PPD as post-birth depression that can have significant impacts on a woman’s familial, social, and financial well-being. Louisiana indirectly loses up to 1,882 jobs, as the condition can often prevent untreated women from returning to the workforce and resuming their role as contributors to the state’s economic activities.

Without essential legislative reform, Louisiana taxpayers can expect to pay the following costs for untreated PPD over a five-year period:

  • An estimated $122 million in healthcare costs
  • An estimated $98 million in direct economic costs
  • An estimated $60 million in social costs, including the funding of public programs and costs to family members

The study coincides with the introduction of SB 148, a bill that would expand treatment access for mothers diagnosed with PPD in Louisiana. Sponsored by State Senator Beth Mizell (R-D12), the legislation accelerates the process in which those afflicted can receive medications recommended by their medical provider.

The Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families’ commission of the study is supported by Postpartum Health Louisiana, a state-wide coalition promoting the expansion of information access, screenings, and treatment options for PPD. March of Dimes, the leading non-profit fighting for the health of all moms and babies is a part of the coalition and committed to addressing this important issue for women and families.

“Postpartum depression is the most common complication for moms who have just had a baby with symptoms appearing within one to three weeks of having a baby, but may sometimes develop later,” said Frankie Robertson, Consultant for March of Dimes. “When left untreated, these disorders can have serious medical, societal and economic consequences and we need to prioritize maternal mental health by implementing policies to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment so that all moms and babies can have the best possible start.”

In addition to examining state-side economic impacts, the study provides a regional breakout of the economic disparities promoted by PPD. Dr. James Richardson summarized the report by noting that, “PPD is a medical condition leading to healthcare costs, economic losses, and additional costs for other social programs throughout the state. The woman giving childbirth bears these costs of PPD directly, but the costs associated with PPD are also borne by the entire community.”

The full study can be found here.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software