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Postpartum Depression Measure Approved by House

On October 15, the House approved, 382-3, the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act (H.R. 20). The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill on September 27 (see The Source, 9/28/07).

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) said, “Postpartum depression is a serious mental health problem that can have significant consequences for both the new mother and family. Statistics show up to 800,000 women annually develop this diagnosable prenatal mood disorder; shockingly, less than 15 percent of mothers will receive treatment for the disease. In California, the results from a 2004 California Women’s Health report [released in] 2007…indicated that younger females were most at risk for postpartum depression…H.R. 20, the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act, would ensure that women at risk for, or with, postpartum depression are provided adequate and timely prevention and mental health services. If we are to have any hope of preventing deaths among new mothers and children from this disease, we must identify ways by which we can effectively treat and prevent postpartum psychosis.”

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