ADDRESSING MATERNAL DEPRESSION
Postpartum depression is the most under-diagnosed condition in pregnant women and new mothers. CHDI is working to help pediatric primary care providers effectively identify and address maternal depression.
Approximately 15% of mothers experience serious emotional complications during pregnancy, birth and/or the postpartum period. In Connecticut, this translates to nearly 7,000 mothers per year.
Pediatric primary care practice as an ideal venue for the detection of maternal depression, since most parents have frequent contact with the pediatric health care system during their children’s early years. CHDI helps pediatric providers identify mothers who suffer from depression early on and connect them to therapeutic services.
Early identification is critical because untreated maternal depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders imposes serious complications for the health and development of exposed children. Mothers play a critical role in their children's early brain development. By three years of age, 80% of brain growth is complete, highlighting the need to address factors that impede optimal development as early as possible,
Pediatric Provider Training
CHDI delivers free training to child health providers statewide through our Educating Practices program. Since 2014, 478 child health providers and staff in 44 practices have benefited from the “Addressing Postpartum Depression: Opportunities in the Pediatric Setting” training module.
CHDI released the IMPACT publication, Addressing Maternal Mental Health in the Pediatric Medical Home in November 2014. The report includes:
- A review of the current literature on maternal depression and mental health disorders
- Information on how maternal mental health affects child health and development
- An analysis of the interventions and initiatives offered in the State
- A discussion of the role of child health providers in maternal depression screening
- Recommendations for further action at the State level
The 2014 IMPACT updates CHDI's 2008 IMPACT titled Addressing Maternal Depression, Opportunities in the Pediatric Setting. Since the publication of the initial IMPACT, practice and policy changes combined with increased awareness of the effect of maternal depression have contributed to statewide improvement in early detection and treatment for mothers as well as interventions for children.