Monday, February 16, 2009

Legislative Alert: MOTHERS Act - PPD Awareness

The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act (HR 20 - S.324) provides federal funding for education and awareness about postpartum depression. In the last Congress, it passed in the House, but ran afoul of procedural wrangling in the Senate.

So far, it has 12 sponsors in the House and 6 in the Senate (although Thomas still shows Sen. Gillibrand as a cosponsor in the House).

It would provide funding for efforts to educate new parents about postpartum depression and the impacts on the family.
Some reasons why that's important:

Depression in mothers (and symptoms of depression in fathers) has been linked to colic in infants. Link  Link  

And to the adoption of safe parenting practices. Link  Link  Link

For some mothers, research suggests that birth can produce physiological effects that lead to depression. Some research also suggests that PPD can be associated with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Link  Link   Perhaps not that surprising when you think about the complex nature of the birth process a bit...

And a 2007 study points out the need for increased efforts to screen mothers for PPD.

Not to mention perinatal anxiety disorders.

The causes may be different, but it's important to recognize that postpartum depression can occur in fathers. Link  Link Link to Newsweek report  Link to CNN report Link to WebMD article

Research on first time fathers suggests educating them about PPD may help positive outcomes. Link

The consequences of PPD can affect outcomes in children. Link. Link

Another bill that you can email your Congressional representatives about, and let them know that you support it. And why it is important...

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