The United States has the worst maternal death rates of any developed country, with Black women dying at 3-4 times the rates of white women, this rate remains unchanged when accounting for income, education and economic status. Maternal death rates for women overall in the U.S. doubled in the past 25 years, meaning that women today have a higher risk of dying at childbirth than their mothers, and the disparities that Black women face have been around for decades. For every maternal death in the country, 70 women face a life-threatening and too often, life-altering complication.
Have you ever wished that someone would monitor how often screening for maternal depression is happening and to report that rate?
It’s been a dream of mine to have such a measurement in place so we can gauge how quickly change is occurring, determine states where rates are highest/lowest, and push for more aggressive action until screening rates are in the acceptable 90% range nationally.
Now, development of such a measure, referred to as a Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (“HEDIS”) measure, is underway thanks to The California Health Care Foundation and the ZOMA Foundation.
In addition to a measure of screening, there is also a measure being developed to address whether the screening provider followed-up. Here are the proposed measures - which include assessment for screening/follow-up during both pregnancy and the postpartum period.
February is Black History Month. Now, many are calling February Black Future Month; a time to raise awareness about how to move forward as a nation and continue to heal from the past.
The month of February was officially recognized as Black History Month in 1976 by President Gerald Ford as a time to honor the rich history, culture, contributions, and importance of African Americans. It is also a time, to consider the adversity and inequities that African Americans still face in our country. We invited Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Shades of Blue Project in Houston, Texas, to share what Black History Month means to her.
There is a pain that lingers deep inside of me that sometimes surfaces to make for very dark days. Tuesday is the day of this particular week that I feel quite out of place. It’s a day I ask myself if I made the right decision to expose my feelings to the world to pick apart at their leisure.
We had the opportunity to pull leaders in the field together to review the draft USPSTF recommendation. To learn what was discussed read more here.
It has now become more well known that maternal mental health disorders are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth.
In 2017, after the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) overturned its position to recommend screening for maternal depression, the United States Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) changed its position to now recommend maternal depression screening.
Now, in 2019, the USPSTF released one of the firsts of its kind, a recommendation for a clinical intervention to prevent a potential disorder, not just screen for it retrospectively. The disorder? Maternal depression. The recommendation was published in on the USPSTF website and in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Network.
SO, I just posted a “What We’re Reading” blog post a week ago, but I have more to share. Here are some of the highlights: More about the gut-biome brain connection, the latest article by our favorite journalist, April Dembosky. April calls out that America is lacking adequate inpatient treatment facilities for mothers and their babies, that reimbursement is an issue, and how lack of sleep is a public health emergency.
Kaiser Health News: Postpartum Psychosis is Rare, Real, and Dangerous
There had been no crime after all — Lisa Abramson’s destination that day wasn’t a jail cell, but rather the general psychiatric ward at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. The other patients were there for drug overdoses or alcohol withdrawal. People were screaming. Read it here.
A: Ambassador, Completed the MMH Certification class
Q: 2020 Mom’s mission is to close gaps in maternal mental health care. What’s your big hope for how 2020 Mom can fulfill this bold mission?
A: The diagnosis gap seems so large, but with 2020 Mom advocating for the OBGYNs to be the primary physician in Maternal Mental Healthcare, and also asking Pediatricians to be on the lookout during a woman’s entrance into motherhood, I think they will be able to catch more people who are struggling. I remember just wanting someone to ask me or to notice that I was not operating at my full capacity. I was not finding the joy of motherhood that everyone talked about and I didn’t want to admit it. I hope that as 2020 Mom works with healthcare teams, policy makers, insurance companies, and individuals the barriers of stigma surrounding Maternal Mental Health will break down and more women will speak up and not suffer in silence.