Join the PTSD After Childbirth Yahoo Group
Powered by

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Valley Advocate: News - Support When It's Needed

Amherst state Rep. Ellen Story backs a new law that would help mothers in postpartum crisis.

Comments (7)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
By Maureen Turner

When Liz Friedman gave birth to her first child seven years ago, she experienced what she calls a "severe post-partum crisis." She felt isolated and alone, a problem exacerbated by her partner's demanding work schedule. She was mourning the loss of an uncle who'd died shortly before her child's birth. She went for days without sleep.
It's hard to describe any person going through such difficulties as lucky. But Friedman was fortunate in one very important way: her healthcare providers were able to identify what she was going through, and refer her to a well-regarded postpartum depression treatment program at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, where she was living at the time.
A few years later, Friedman moved to the Valley, where she found a much less promising picture for new mothers experiencing emotional difficulties. At the time, she says, there were no postpartum support groups in the three Pioneer Valley counties; indeed, she says, there was none in the region stretching from Worcester westward to Albany, or anywhere in the states of Vermont and Connecticut. That left a significant number of women without ready help; a 2008 CDC report that looked at pregnant women in several states found that between 11 and 20 percent experienced postpartum depression.
Three years ago, Friedman helped start the first postpartum support group in the Valley through MotherWoman, an Amherst-based nonprofit. Today she's coordinator of the organization's Postpartum Support Initiative, which runs several local support groups.
That's great news for new mothers in the Valley—at least, those who find their way to the services. But as Friedman and others engaged in the issue have found, too often women who are struggling with postpartum depression fall through the cracks—because their doctors don't recognize what they're going through, or don't know where to send them for help; because their insurance provider doesn't cover treatment—with potentially devastating consequences for them and their babies.
New state legislation proposed by state Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst) would close many of the holes in that still-developing support structure by providing universal screening of new moms for postpartum emotional problems, to be covered by insurance companies…
The Valley Advocate: News - Support When It's Needed

No comments:

Post a Comment