Bartolotta postpartum depression bill clears committee

April 26, 2017 GMT

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved legislation Tuesday that would extend early intervention services to newborn and infant children of mothers affected by postpartum depression, according to state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Carroll Township.Pennsylvania already 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.Senate Bill 200, introduced by Bartolotta, 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 that 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.The bill now goes to the full Senate.