Published: April 13, 2022
By: Lura Stabiler, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE—On Black Maternal Health Advocacy Day Wednesday, the House voted 101-0 to pass a bill to provide for perinatal mood disorder screening, specifically for postpartum depression and awareness.
Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, authored the mental health bill, House Bill 784, to help deal with Louisiana’s alarming maternal and infant mortality rates. Louisiana has the highest maternal death rate in the country and the second-highest infant death rate.
At a House Health and Welfare Committee meeting earlier this month, Robin Gruenfeld with the March of Dimes said, “One in seven women experience symptoms of depression during their pregnancy and the 12 months following delivery. These women are more likely to give birth preterm or experience the loss of an infant.”
The bill requires healthcare providers who offer postnatal care to screen patients for signs of postpartum depression or related health disorders. The healthcare provider will likely be the new mother’s obstetrician or their child’s pediatrician.
Read more at St. Mary Now