Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 2:29PM
Updated: Tuesday, 02 Oct 2012, 1:19 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 01 Oct 2012, 5:00 PM EDT on WWLP.com
CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Welcoming a child into the world brings immense joy and fulfillment, but many new mothers find it difficult to find happiness at such a joyous time. The Postpartum Depression Commission exists to support mothers.
When Governor Patrick created the MA Commission on Postpartum Depression (PPD), he wanted to ensure representation from western MA experts who work with mothers. He appointed two area professionals, Liz Friedman, Program Director of MotherWoman and Donna L. O'Shea, MD, Medical Director of Health New England.
The Commission, co-chaired by Rep. Ellen Story (Amherst) and Senator Thomas M. McGee (Lynn), is charged with making recommendations to the Department of Public Health and the MA State Legislature on advancing best practices regarding PPD screening, treatment and public and professional education.
10 - 25% of mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD). These numbers drastically increase when additional risk factors like poverty and teen pregnancy are taken into consideration. When undiagnosed and untreated, PPD can have severe negative effects on mother, infant and birth outcomes including low birth weight of infant, depression and anxiety for mother and developmental challenges to newborns. This results in increased medical expenses and visits to the ER as well as loss of income to families. In the four county region there are approximately 9000 births each year. There are a minimum of 900 - 2250 women suffering with PPD each year in our region alone.