New York City Fights Postpartum Depression
There is no question that the United States is behind in prenatal and postnatal care of the mother and baby. With as many as 1 in 5 women reporting postpartum depression in the United States, it is evident that more must be done to give new parents the support they desperately need.
New York City is starting a new initiative to help give this support, lead by New York City's First Lady Chirlane McCray. The New Family Home Visits initiative aims to give every first-time parent in the city up to six home visits from professionals after their baby’s birth. Although similar programs have been started in Durham and Chicago, this program in New York City plans to be the biggest in the country once all aspects are rolled out. New Family Home Visits will be run by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in conjunction with the Administration for Children’s Services.
So, what will this look like?
The program will have these goals in mind: offer at-home screenings for anxiety and postpartum depression, connect new parents to relevant mental health services, increase cognitive development in children, reduce emergency room visits, and decrease preterm births.
The city will work with organizations that will send out a community health worker, nurse or doula to meet with first-time parents, regardless of sexual or gender orientation or income. Parents who adopt or have children via surrogate will also be able to participate.
Hopefully, by opening these services to every new parent, we can help to reduce the stigma of postpartum depression and get new parents the help they need.
Baby Whisperers cannot wait to see how this plan unfolds or how it could possibly be recreated in other major cities across the country.
Way to go, New York!
As always- like, comment, and share!
Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN