"A beautiful young mother of two has been missing in Rhode Island now for more than a month.
Her name is Katie Corcoran and she is suffering from postpartum psychosis. She was supposed to be released from the hospital to her family, but on September 5th, in some kind of mix-up, she was sent off in a taxi instead. Her husband, small children, family and friends haven't seen or heard from her since."
This is a quote from the blog Postpartum Progress, a blog by Katherine Stone that collects information and support for women suffering from postpartum mood disorders. Katherine, along with BlogHer and Postpartum Support International are asking bloggers to spread the word today about the MOTHERS Act:
What is the MOTHERS Act? The Moms Opportunity to Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act, or MOTHERS Act (S. 3529), will ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms and provided with essential services. In addition, it will increase research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression. The bill is sponsored by Senators Menendez and Durbin.
This is important. Really important. AS many as 800,000 American women every year get PPD or another postpartum mood disorder, and only 15% of them will be assessed or treated. That's tragic, and we shouldn't fall through the cracks.
I'm going to ask you to do three things:
1. If you're an American or live in the US, call your senators' office today to ask them to support the MOTHERS Act (S. 3529). Find your senators' contact info by going to www.senate.gov and using the drop-down box in the top right corner to find your state.
2. Start talking about PPD. If you experienced it, share your experience. When you see other new moms out and about, ask how they are, and really look at them when they answer. You might be a vital part of the safety net we should have in place.
3. I've posted a PDF of "14 Tips to Prevent Postpartum Depression" over there on the left-hand side of this page. Please download it and print it out, and give it to the pregnant women and new moms you know. (If you want more than five copies or to reprint it, please email me about rights.) It's better to prevent PPD than to try to battle it, so let's make sure women know there are things they can do to lessen their likelihood of getting serious PPD.