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Postpartum Depression Guide

Alison Beaver

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Coburn is a doctor who participates in funding decisions for NIH and NIMH yet apparently remains unmoved by their perilous findings indicating that untreated maternal depression is a public health crisis. When one legislator can overturn the will of a country, we are no longer living in a democracy.

We will again await its inevitable passage at the next Congressional session when reason may more strongly prevail. Below is an outline of the bill's urgent and noble purpose:

The legislation would increase federal efforts to combat postpartum depression by:

· Coordinating and continuing research to better understand the causes of, and treatment for, postpartum conditions. Also, supports a National Public Awareness Campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of postpartum depression and psychosis.

· Creating a grant program for the delivery of essential services to individuals with postpartum depression.

· Conducting a study on the benefits of screening for postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

It is estimated that postpartum depression (PPD) affects from 10 to 20 percent of new mothers. In the United States, there may be as many as 800,000 new cases of postpartum conditions each year. The cause of PPD isn't known but changes in hormone levels, a difficult pregnancy or birth, and a family history of depression are considered possible factors.

Groups supporting the legislation:

Postpartum Support International

Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

American Psychological Association

American Psychiatric Association

Children's Defense Fund

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

March of Dimes

Mental Health America

American College of Nurse Midwives

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

National Partnership for Women & Families

OWL- The Voice of Midlife and Older Women

National Women's Law Center

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