HARRISBURG – The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved legislation today to extend early intervention services to newborn and infant children of mothers affected by postpartum depression (PPD), according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).
Senate Bill 1269 would add PPD to the list of conditions that qualify for assessments, tracking and early intervention services. The state already monitors infants with 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 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.
About 21,000 babies and mothers in Pennsylvania annually are believed to suffer from it, and the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all mothers be screened for this illness.
Bartolotta introduced the bill along with Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks).
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463