AP NEWS

Bartolotta co-sponsors postpartum depression bill

February 2, 2017
State Sen. Camera Bartolotta has reintroduced legislation to add postpartum depression to a list of conditions that could affect newborns' health.
State Sen. Camera Bartolotta , R-Carroll Township, along with state Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Fleetwood, reintroduced legislation that would extend early intervention services to newborn and infant children of mothers affected by postpartum depression.Pennsylvania has a monitoring system in place to protect infants who suffer from certain medical conditions such as low birth weight or lead poisoning, as well as those born into potentially dangerous environments, including children born to chemically dependent mothers, homeless children and infants who suffer from abuse and neglect.The senators’ proposal, Senate Bill 200, would add PPD to the list of conditions that are monitored through the existing state program to determine families in need of assessments, tracking and early intervention services.The American Psychological Association estimates more than one in seven new mothers experience PPD. The condition can adversely affect a baby’s cognitive development and carries an increased risk of abuse and neglect.About 21,000 babies and mothers in Pennsylvania annually are believed to suffer from PPD, and the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends all mothers be screened for this illness.