THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY BROWN, BISHOP, BOYLE, BRIGGS, COHEN, FREEMAN, GRUCELA, JOHNSON, JOSEPHS, MANDERINO, MANN, MELIO, MIRABITO, MURPHY, M. O'BRIEN, PARKER, PHILLIPS, READSHAW, SANTARSIERO, THOMAS AND YOUNGBLOOD, MARCH 26, 2009
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, MARCH 26, 2009
Requiring information relating to parenting and prenatal
depression, postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis and
other emotional trauma counseling to be provided to a woman
who is pregnant or has just given birth; and providing for
the powers and duties of the Department of Health.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Prenatal and
Postpartum Counseling Act.
Section 2. Counseling information.
(a) Duty to provide.--A hospital, birthing center, neonatal
intensive care unit, pediatric ward, pediatric intensive care
unit, physician, nurse-midwife or midwife who provides prenatal
care to a pregnant woman during gestation or at delivery of an
infant or provides health care to a child up to one year of age
(1) Provide the woman with a fact sheet that includes
common symptoms of the medical conditions of prenatal
depression, postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis and
for emotional traumas associated with pregnancy and
parenting. The fact sheet shall present, in a prominent
place, information in a patient-friendly format that contains
the following information:
Prenatal depression, postpartum depression, postpartum
psychosis and postpartum anxiety disorders are serious
medical conditions that require a physician's evaluation
and recommendations for treatment. If you are suffering
from any of the signs and symptoms of these conditions,
you should immediately inform your treating physician or
(2) Provide the woman with a resource list of the names,
addresses and telephone numbers of professional organizations
that provide prenatal and postpartum counseling and
assistance to parents.
(3) Document in the patient's record that the patient
received the information described in paragraph (1).
(4) Screen the woman for postpartum depression symptoms
prior to discharge from the birthing facility and at the
infant's three-month, six-month, nine-month and twelve-month
(5) Retain the documentation for at least three years in
the patient records at the hospital, birthing center,
neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric ward or pediatric
intensive care unit.
(b) Resources to be included.--The information under
subsection (a) shall include a list of entities or agencies that
a woman who is pregnant or has just given birth may contact to
receive treatment, counseling and assistance for the medical
conditions of prenatal depression, postpartum depression or
postpartum psychosis and for emotional traumas associated with
pregnancy and parenting.
(c) Presumption of compliance.--A hospital, birthing center,
physician, nurse-midwife or midwife who provides prenatal care
to a woman during gestation or at delivery is presumed to have
complied with this section if the woman received prior prenatal
care from another hospital, birthing center, physician, nurse-
midwife or midwife in this Commonwealth during the same
Section 3. Powers and duties of Department of Health.
The Department of Health shall:
(1) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations necessary
to carry out the purposes and provisions of this act.
(2) Enforce this act and the rules and regulations
promulgated under this act.
(3) Make available on the department's Internet website
a printable list of professional organizations that provide
prenatal and postpartum counseling and assistance to parents,
along with a fact sheet and the statement in section 2(a)(1).
(4) Update the list required under paragraph (3) on a
Section 20. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.