On October 10, the House unanimously approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 163) expressing the sense of the House regarding postpartum depression. The resolution, sponsored by Reps. Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Lois Capps (D-CA), is included on the legislative agenda of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.
The resolution recommends that hospitals and clinics delivering babies provide new mothers and fathers with complete information about postpartum depression; encourages obstetricians to inquire prenatally about psychiatric problems; encourages obstetricians to screen new mothers for postpartum depression symptoms prior to discharge; recommends that health care professionals be trained to screen women for signs of postpartum depression; recognizes that a coordinated registry should be developed to collect data on such problems; recognizes the impact of postpartum depression on fathers and other family members; and calls on U.S. citizens to learn more about postpartum depression.
“Each year, 400,000 American women, 20 percent of those who give birth, experience some postpartum depression caused by chemical imbalance…. It is tragic that so many new mothers are robbed of the joy at such a miraculous time in their lives, and it is tragic that postpartum depression is so often ignored or stigmatized when it should be aggressively treated,” stated Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).