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Congress Passes Postpartum Depression Legislation

Congress Passes Postpartum Depression Legislation

Congress recently passed groundbreaking maternal mental health legislation, the Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act.
 

Congress recently passed legislation that will allow states to better screen, assess, and treat women with postpartum depression.

Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) is the creator of the bill titled, Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act. It will give federal grants to individual states, which will allow them to "create, improve, or maintain programs around maternal mental health and help women who are pregnant or recently gave birth," according to The Huffington Post.

Over 400,000 women in the United States experience PPD, which is often thought of as a taboo subject. Symptoms include not being able to bond with your baby, depression, guilt, confusion, feelings of hopelessness, and in some cases the feeling of wanting to harm your baby or yourself. It's understandable how a new mom experiencing these symptoms may feel shame, causing her to stay quiet and not reach out for help.

But with this act, moms with PPD will be not only be able to receive the help they need, doctors and healthcare professionals will receive training to better understand the signs of PPD and how to effectively treat it.

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A mother herself, Clark understands how rewarding and also how overwhelming a new baby can be. It's an insight she has been able to utilize as a congresswoman.

"Moms comprise fewer than a fifth of Congress, so it’s especially important for us to bring these perspectives into policymaking," Clark told HuffPost. She added, "I introduced this bill because our moms need to know they matter, that we, as a nation, value them and will fight for the health and success of their families."

This legislation is truly groundbreaking and is shedding light on an issue that affects many families across the nation. 

"When one in seven moms suffers from postpartum depression and only 15 percent get help, it’s clear our moms are underserved," the congresswoman told HuffPost. This bill will help to change that.


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