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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 7, 2021 09:16 AM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Postpartum Depression Awareness Month – May 2021
In the near future, I will introduce a resolution designating May 2021 as “Postpartum Depression Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

Following the birth of a child, many new moms experience postpartum baby blues.  However, one in seven women experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression vary and can range from mild to severe, but typically include depressed mood or severe mood swings, excessive crying, irritability and anger, difficulty bonding with the baby, withdrawing from family and friends, appetite problems, feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Research by the American Psychological Association indicates that 15 percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. In Pennsylvania, this means about 21,000 babies and their mothers are annually affected by this illness. Unfortunately, many women do not seek professional treatment because of the stigma associated with postpartum depression. Nationwide, only about 50 percent of new mothers are screened for depression, and even fewer actually receive treatment following a positive screen. This indicates that many women each year are not getting the help they need.

The best way to combat this illness is to educate the community, raise awareness and provide screening to identify those who may be at higher risk.   

Please join me in the effort to bring attention to a struggle that impacts so many by cosponsoring this resolution.  

Introduced as SR109