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Secretary Marylou Sudders delivers remarks at Postpartum Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House

Secretary Marylou Sudders delivers remarks at Postpartum Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House

With 1 in 5 women suffering from postpartum depression within three months of delivery, many people feel the effects of it, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders, said in her remarks during yesterday’s Postpartum Awareness Day at the Massachusetts State House.

“For some women, my mother included, postpartum depression triggered a profound clinical depression that was unremitting and in the long run devastating for her and her family” said Sudders.

The Baker-Polito administration has worked to ensure postpartum depression screening is covered under the MassHealth program starting this year. Last month, MassHealth began reimbursing for postpartum depression screening conducted by perinatal and pediatric providers. The effort is aimed at increasing screening rates and treatment.

Elected officials, doctors, supporters, and survivors gathered to talk about the progress the Commonwealth has made to help those suffering from postpartum depression, and the support and resource systems that can be expanded to benefit more women.

Postpartum Awareness Day

Representative Ellen Story at Postpartum Awareness Day at the Massachusetts Statehouse

Introduced by Rep. Ellen Story, survivors and those who have worked with women and families who have been affected by postpartum depression shared their emotional stories and experiences and the ways through which they found help. People from groups and organizations such as the Lynn Community Health Center, Postpartum Progress, MotherWoman, and the Every Mother Project were in attendance and representatives from each spoke about how support as well as providing women with the right care and resources helped them to overcome postpartum depression.

Kate Johansson of the Every Mother Project spoke about her experience as a doula having been present at over 100 births and being able to better help these women with the education and information provided to her by her time with the organization. She found that through deeper connections and trust with the women, it allowed for them to be able to open up to her about how they were doing emotionally postnatal.

The healing effects of being able to talk to others about their postpartum depression without stigma and judgment was a running theme between speakers as people from the Lynn Community Health Center spoke about the English and Spanish support groups that they run. A survivor spoke about her battle with postpartum depression and her fears that it made her a bad mother. She found a community through the online support groups of Postpartum Progress, the founder of which was also a speaker and a survivor.

Postpartum depression negatively affects whole family systems and through early screening, support and empowerment from others and knowledgeable doctors it can be cured, a goal that has been furthered by those in attendance as well as others who work to help those suffering from postpartum depression.

For more information and resources to find help in dealing with postpartum depression:

  • http://www.everymotherproject.org
  • http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/masshealth/transletters-2016/phy-148.pdf
  • https://www.mcpapformoms.org/Resources/PregnantWomen.aspx
  • https://interface.williamjames.edu/ppd-support-groups
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