Bill looks to increase postpartum depression awareness, screenings

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new bill in the senate is aiming to provide information and screenings for postpartum depression for pregnant women and new moms in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 74, also known as the Prenatal and Postpartum Counseling and Screening Act, is currently in the senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.

The bill would require a hospital or physician providing prenatal care to provide the patient with a fact sheet, which includes common symptoms of postpartum depression and what she should do to help treat it.

They’ll also provide the woman with a list of professional organizations that provide postpartum counseling.

The bill also requires health professionals to screen new mothers for symptoms of postpartum depression prior to discharge and at the first few postnatal check-up visits.

“It’s a health issue,” said Senator Stewart Greenleaf, who is sponsoring the bill. “And, it’s just information that is very important for a mother to have when she leaves the hospital.”

Six other states have passed similar laws requiring that information to be given to pregnant women, with New Jersey also passing a law requiring those screenings.

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