Experts estimate one in seven mothers may experience a mood disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or OCD. Because these perinatal and postpartum mood disorders can be detrimental to the mother and the child, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that women should be routinely screened for depression both during pregnancy and after birth. Pediatricians are well positioned to help as newborns and their mothers visit pediatric providers routinely in the baby’s first year of life.
This recommendation will help support Connecticut’s effort to engage pediatricians in screening new moms and strengthen our statewide system of services for maternal depression. Connecticut is far ahead of other states in that it’s Medicaid program began reimbursing child health providers to screen for maternal depression in 2013 and many commercial providers followed suit. CHDI offers free training for pediatric health providers through our Educating Practices In the Community (EPIC) program to screen for maternal mental illness.