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Postpartum Depression Screening Law Takes Effect in New Jersey

A new bill in New Jersey that requires health care providers to screen new mothers for postpartum depression and educate them about the condition took effect last week. The law gives $4.5 million to providers for education and screening and also mandates that providers ask women about any past depression or postpartum depression history, according to Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. The State Department of Health and Senior Services created a five-minute educational video and brochure called “Speak Up When You’re Down,” providing information and resources for new mothers.

Approximately 80 percent of women have mild depression within the first few weeks of birth, and 15 percent will develop postpartum depression as a result of stress and hormonal imbalances that may follow the birth of a child, reports the Bergen Record. “Women should have a minimum of three if not four opportunities for interventionÉ Women shouldn’t have to suffer in silence,” Dr. Michael R. Petriella, vice chairman of obstetrics and gynecology for Hackensack University Medical Center, told the Bergen Record.

Sources:

Kaiser Daily WomenÕs Health Policy 10/13/06; North Jersey Media Group 10/11/06; Bergen Record 10/11/06

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