The Regional Perinatal Centers of New York – Neonatal Care and primary prevention of postpartum depression at its finest!

Mary Coughlin, RN, MS

Yesterday, March 22, 2013, the Regional Perinatal Centers of New York – a collaborative of 137 hospitals throughout NY who have met standards entitling them to this designation – held their annual nurses retreat at NY Presbyterian Hospital. Columbia PhD nursing candidate Joy Henderson RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, who currently manages this association, somehow found the time to organize and present a program that was an exceptional learning experience for representatives from these esteemed health care institutions.

It was honoring to open this gathering of nurse leaders with a talk about perinatal mood disorders and our need to identify depression throughout a woman’s reproductive life. The constant nods and reactions from this group of dedicated professionals conveyed their experienced agreement.

Jane Ciaramella RN, MS presented her team’s two year journey to implement screening and referral processes at White Plains Hospital – information that was eagerly received by the retreat participants. Jane has been educating, advocating and intervening for perinatal mental health for years! She shared a moving letter she had received from a woman who was so grateful to have had these services available to her – without which her birth experience could have been tragically different.

Mary Coughlin, RN, MS, whose company Caring Essentials hails from Boston (complete with a “wicked awesome” Boston accent!) gave a riveting presentation on opportunities to increase physical and mental health outcomes for newborns in the NICU.

These littlest and most vulnerable patients are taking in every nuance, sound, touch, and smell. Their developing brains are ever vigilant awaiting that tender touch, look, voice and interaction from mom and caregivers thought to be CRITICAL in optimization of healthy neurobiological development.

To reduce the potential trauma of being separated from mom and subjected to sometimes intrusive NICU interventions, Mary has some excellent suggestions for the nurses charged with their care.

Did you know that while 19th century physicians understood that babies experience pain, many of their mid 20th century counterparts rejected this idea!

Not until 1970-80’s was it re-established that babies not only experience pain, but can be more sensitive to it than adults!

Prior to the current practice of administration of anesthesia for invasive processes or sugery, babies had only one option to tolerate such procedures – disassociation or complete catatonic shutdown which sometimes led to death. Perhaps this begins to explain an infant mortality rate that has taken decades to moderate.

With the renewed, indisputable knowledge provided by imaging and behavioral studies, research now proves that infants are exquisitely attuned to EVERYTHING in their environment and can develop symptoms of depression and dissociation when only weeks old.

Having a newborn who requires the services of the NICU has been associated with an increased risk for PPD. Up to 30 percent of families who go through this experience with their infants endure marital disruptions that can lead to separation and divorce.

The encouraging news is that there are many interventions which can moderate the potential emotionally and experientially traumatic effects of NICU stays for preemies and ill babies. Additionally, there are methods to support their visiting parents as they attempt to facilitiate critical bonding attachments in a life-saving, but unnatural healthcare environment.

The afternoon of the retreat was spent forming workgroups to address specific target areas where these interactions can be improved at their facilities. I left the meeting so thankful for the contributions of our colleagues, the dedicated nurses who are the outstanding front line managers of the birthing process and maternal mental health.

And of course, I brought a Jammies Jar with me to show the group this adorable product which helps fight postpartum depression. I encouraged them to consider offering Jammies in their hospital gift shops (and of course as a gift for the pregnant and new moms in their lives!) Jammies by Hélène Laure last much longer than flowers and help raise funding for the kinds of programs and services that were the target of the day’s discussions! There were plenty of “oohs and aahs” as the sweet little sample was passed around.

If you are planning a conference in the near future, I strongly suggest you contact Joy, Mary or Jane to present at your event. All of them are great speakers whose depth of knowledge and experience will galvanize your audience with crucial information. Thanks to Joy for a fantastic retreat!

Posted in identifying postpartum depression, postpartum depression, postpartum depression research, Postpartum depression treatment programs, Regional Perinatal Centers of New York, Susan Dowd Stone, women's health issues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing Jammies by Hélène Lauré – Onesies that fight Postpartum Depression!

Imagine a very talented French designer – Hélène Lauré– who has already made her mark in the fashion industry. Her clothing has been carried by Bendels, Bloomingdales, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and other upscale stores. She becomes deeply moved by the issue of postpartum depression and takes action! Not only does she create the most adorable line of infant pajamas you will ever see, but donates a percentage of the profits to an organization supporting mothers struggling with PPD!

Jammies by Hélène Lauré are heartstopping “onesies for a cause” adorned with little critters – each with its own fascinating story – and brilliantly packaged in a reusable, decorative little jam jar!!

Jammies by Hélène Lauré are a tender creation designed to wrap a newborn in the purest, most delightfully festooned fabric of 100 per cent pure cotton jersey while funding the fight against postpartum depression – “onesies for a cause!”

Hélène company, Two mice, a Bear and a Bunny LLC, has vowed to contribute 10% of the profits from sales of these precious onesies to Postpartum Progress Inc, the non-profit organization associated with Postpartum Progress.

Jammies by Hélène Lauré offers the opportunity to purchase a darlingly novel gift while supporting the new non-profit arm of Postpartum Progress, a website which has been in the trenches with new mothers for years!

In considering with whom to partner in this philanthropic endeavor, Postpartum Progress’s non-profit entity was ultimately selected for several important reasons:

1. Postpartum Progress is the world’s most widely read blog on postpartum depression. PPP may be the very first resource a mom encounters when she is searching for answers at 2 AM. Due to stigma and lack of awareness, less than 15% of all mothers who struggle with postpartum mood disorders ever seek treatment. Early engagement can save lives! If a struggling mother finds her way to Postpartum Progress, she will feel embraced, not judged, receive answers to many of her questions and be guided to solid resources for help.

2. Postpartum Progress is inclusive. It’s not just about one particular non-profit, one foundation, or one person (although we commend all advocacy!) Katherine publishes information about every reputable PPD related organization, provider, author, and resource. Every forum, conference, training, meeting, new research, legislative effort, articles, and media presentations from around the world are featured and encouraged.

3. Postpartum Progress facilitates critical connections! All this information helps mothers find the help they need, and gives healthcare practitioners the educational and research updates they need to provide better evidenced based treatment.

4. Postpartum Progress is about the mothers! Since she started Postpartum Progress, Katherine Stone has never lost sight of her goal – to reach out to women who may be suffering, take their virtual hand and walk them to the next step. Katherine is a survivor who doesn’t just bravely reference her own story, but that of your daughter’s, your friend’s, your sister’s, your wife’s. Her goal is to make moms aware that symptoms of PMAD’s can be different in each woman – that they may not be exactly similar to what you see in the media or like your next door neighbor’s, or even feel the same as your last post-pregnancy experience.

5. Postpartum Progress does not require membership or dues. Postpartum Progress has been largely funded by one person. Katherine Stone. In her passion for this cause, Katherine has donated her own time, energy and personal funds to birth and sustain the comprehensive resource which exists today. She knows that the new mothers to whom she reaches out often do not have any extra dollars or may need to fund their own life-saving recovery – treatments which may not be covered or accessible through insurance.

6. The goal of Postpartum Progress Inc., is to fund as many of its own or others programs out there! The funding received through Jammies for Babies by Helene Laure will allow disbursement of grants and financial support to both PPI projects and other initiatives supportive to maternal mental health. Of course, the extent of this outreach will depend on PPI’s own funding. But with no major overhead, more of PPI’s funding dollars go directly services.

Please Facebook, Tweet, forward, repost and Pininterest the heck out of this announcement. Tell everyone you know. With over 4 million births each year creating a billion plus baby industry in this country alone, perhaps we can garner some needed dollars toward the fight against postpartum depression through Jammies by Hélène Lauré.

My deepest thanks go out to Hélène Lauré for her creative philanthropy and to Katherine Stone for the life-saving resource of Postpartum Progress. While we now have effective treatments and programs that combat these illnesses, access and funding remain our greatest challenges. Here’s the perfect way to send a fantastic gift and help meet the challenge of postpartum depression.

Order your pair of Jammies by Hélène Lauré by clicking here now!

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Postpartum Depression Progress – What Have You Done For Me Lately???

After several months of immersion in personal and professional activities, the PerinatalPro blog is back! One of the most motivating factors in my resumption of commentary was the appearance of articles and blogs across the web bemoaning the fact that despite the inclusion of The Melanie Blocker Stokes Mother’s Act in the now mandated Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (i.e. Obamacare), the scarcity of funding for programs seeking to support new mothers continues therefore…


Well, I get it.

What was the point of all the advocacy, the trips to Washington, the petition signing, the personal stories, the substantiating research, and suffering through all those inaccurate media depictions of psychotic PPD moms if the outcome was not going to be substantial access to federal funding for PPD programs? Or the expedient creation of maternal mental health programs responsive to the multiple needs of new mothers and access to such services nationwide?

That hope remains the ultimate goal. But look around. We are on a long list of critical social programs for which funds are scarce. Despite this economic climate we are holding our own and moving forward thanks to the creativity and passion of advocates like you.

The encouraging reality is that more women and families struggling with PPD are receiving services right this second than ever before because of enduring promises and research advancing treatment and interventions. We still have a long way to go – especially in educating providers charged with the care of new moms and infants – but our issue is not falling by the wayside.

We won’t let it.

The perspective that little has been accomplished – which is thankfully not the case – could feel rather invalidating and demoralizing to the mothers who are currently debilitated by these illnesses. Sure we need to keep the pressure on, but let’s not invalidate the brave army of public officials who stood beside us – throughout our recognition seeking ignorance busting journey, the researchers who invested their expertise fueled only by their own passion, the organizations and individuals who stayed the course. They have not abandoned our cause.

And then there are our own amplifying voices, combined efforts and accomplishments which have gotten this issue on the map, in the textbooks and into those important early conversations that new mothers have with friends, loved ones and their physicians.

Change – especially around public policy and public myth – is an incremental and painstaking process. Education about why that change is necessary is step one. We have made great progress with responsible, professional media outlets who have partnered with us on the need to mainstream PPD! But it doesn’t stop there. We are educated about many things that do not feel essential to our current lives. People have to BUY IN to our cause through personal experience, association with the field, or the economic costs caused by NOT paying attention. And then they need to be motivated to DO something about it, whether that is to become a healthcare provider, an advocate, a legislator, fundraiser or a spokesperson.

That postpartum depression is now formally recognized by our country as a medical condition requiring treatment and further research seems like a no-brainer, but getting there took decades.

But the pace is faster now.

Directing NIMH to pursue research into the causes, treatments and potential prevention of PMAD’s (which the legislation does) is no small accomplishment. If you go to the NIMH pages and look at current solicitations or ongoing research, maternal mental health is well represented.

This was not the reality a decade ago.

Ten years previous, a major network would not have spent millions of dollars coordinating a public service announcement campaign on postpartum depression like CBS Cares. And PBS and their affiliates would not have undertaken responsible documentary projects on the issue leading to excellent programs of Emmy nomination quality!

Look at the list of available books on the subject! Amazon goes on for pages, books by survivors, providers, poets and advocates. You could barely find one reference to postpartum depression twenty years ago. How about the impressive findings of researchers like Katherine Wisner, Cynthia Battle, Scott Stuart and Michael O’Hara? The programs at Mass General Hospital, UNC and Brown? NJ’s Speak Up When You’re Down, now adopted across the country? And this is just a tiny reference of those devoting their professional and personal lives to this journey.

Sure we need more to keep up with the numbers of those afflicated with these conditions. We need more programs, more money, more research, more access to services in every childbirthing community around the world. But to believe progress has been lacking is to ignore a huge body of effort that has brought significant, effective results.

We now need to disseminate this knowledge and these programs across the country. This is happening, however slowly it feels.

The achievement of federal legislation on the books helps legitamize our issue, bringing more focused attention to the perinatal period across disciplines, encouraging investment, inviting evidenced based solutions.

Look to the many national and regional organizations solely devoted to postpartum depression to find evidence of commitment and progress! There was only one or two fifteen years ago? Jane Honikman’s Postpartum Support International’s amazing coordinator base, earning not one dime, but there to respond to the reference needs of struggling mothers? PSI’s Free Chat with the Experts? Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress whose readership now reaches millions around the globe? The National Healthy Mother’s, Healthy Babies Coalition who included pregnancy related mental health issues in their dizzyingly successful TEXT4BABY program? Kimberly Wong’s LA County Maternal Task Force in one of the country’s largest counties? Joan Mudd’s Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Foundation which has been educating healthcare providers and women for over a decade! Jenny’s Light? I could go on for pages citing incredible, dedicated, EFFECTIVE programs and advocacy that have emerged after a prolonged period of frustrating nation-wide under-recognition.

And while federal funding is important (and scarce), it is not the last word. Within communities across the country, efforts are ongoing to fight these illnesses in newly formed centers and agencies supported by their cachement area and local philanthropy. One person who jumps to mind is Esther Koenigsburg, Founder of S.P.A.R.K.S Center for postpartum depression support services in Brooklyn. Esther has probably heard more “No’s” in terms of funding than anyone involved with this issue, but her passionate persistence leads to some very significant “Yesses” and associations. It has never crossed Esther’s mind to give up. Instead, she forms essential overlapping connections, inspires her volunteers and continues to build on whatever shoestring presents!

This is what it takes, all of it! While our ultimate goals seems to remain maddeningly out of reach, let’s not lose sight of where we’ve been, how far we’ve come and what has been accomplished!

So within this blog, anyway, 2013 begins with a huge THANK YOU to those who have stayed the course and brought us to this era of new opportunity for maternal mental health. We have inspired a whole new generation of people to walk with us and carry forward the essential torch of hope. Let’s not discourage them or those currently enduring these ravaging illnesses by sending a message of despair and surrender.

Please write to me with programs and services of which you are aware or in which you involved that are helping new mothers, their children and families. Whether it is helping ten or thousands, let’s get the word out there. I am especially interested in community based programs who are working at the grass roots level to provide local services to women.


Posted in Carol Blocker, CBS Cares, Congressman Bobby L. Rush, David Rubinow, Esther Kenigsberg, Harvard Medical School, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, identifying postpartum depression, Isaac Schiff MD, Jane Honikman, Katherine Stone, Katherine Wisner, Kimberly Wong, Mary Jo Codey, Massachusetts General Hospital, Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, Perinatal Pro, postpartum depression, postpartum depression research, Postpartum Progress, S.P.A.R.K.S., Sara Lee Kessler, Susan Dowd Stone, Sylvia Lasalandra Frodella, The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, U. S. Senator Robert Menendez, White House Office of Science and Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Katherine Stone’s postpartum depression segment on CNN!

Katherine Stone

When major news outlets post responsible, informative stories on postpartum depression, it’s always a huge help to getting the message out. When they interview an advocate who founded the most widely visited peer support website in the world, it’s even better!!

Recently, Katherine Stone founder of Postpartum Progress was interviewed extensively for a segment on CNN about postpartum depression. It’s a GREAT interview and manages to cover many underappreciated aspects of PPD which women can deeply relate to!!

You can watch it by clicking here

Congratulations and many thanks to Katherine for raising awareness yet ANOTHER notch!!!

Like the video and spread the word so accurate information about PPD gets across the web!!

Posted in Katherine Stone, postpartum depression, postpartum depression commentary, postpartum depression in the news, Postpartum Progress, Postpartum Progress Inc. | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Lee Kessler receives Emmy nomination for Healthbeat Segment on Postpartum Depression

Sarah Lee Kessler nominated for Emmy Award

“Healthbeat with Sara Lee Kessler,” a TV interview program that examines critical public health issues, has been honored with a Mid-Atlantic Emmy nomination for its host, veteran broadcast journalist, Sara Lee Kessler. The nomination is for the pilot in the series, entitled, “Postpartum Depression: Not Just the Baby Blues.” It features experts on PPD, including women who have been affected.

The in-studio interview segments were shot in New Jersey but the program travelled beyond the state to Pittsburgh and North Carolina to look at innovative research and treatment for women affected by Postpartum Depression. The program, which debuted on WHYY in Philadelphia and NJTV in New Jersey earlier this year, has been produced for PBS television stations.

The winners of the Emmy Awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Philadelphia on September 22nd.

Congratulations and many thanks to Sara Lee Kessler for her meticulous and comprehensive update on a critical issue that led to this wonderful honor! Mothers and those who love them will be following this story through the Awards Presentation Ceremony in Philadelphia next month.

How validating it would be to so many who have suffered to witness the award of this honor to a high caliber journalist who has tackled a mental health issue that few would pursue. This would be the first time EVER that a well-researched, well-presented program on postpartum depression received such prestigious recognition!

Posted in David Rubinow, Healthbeat, Mary Jo Codey, Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, postpartum depression, Sara Lee Kessler, Susan Dowd Stone | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kimberly Wong interviewed in LA Times article about postpartum depression

Kimberly Wong, Esq

Kimberly Wong Esq, has always been an incredible advocate. In her work in LA County’s Public Defenders’s office, she is charged with the defense of those with few resources and who face institutional, systemic injustice.

She is also the proud mother of a beautiful, talented child and a survivor of postpartum depression. After her experience “That’s when I (Wong) realized how few options there are for women who need psychological help related specifically to motherhood” Kimberly had to drive 50 miles to find a doctor and a support group that really understood.

Kimberly is a person with the force of purpose and genuine concern for others who decided to DO something about it. She formed the LA County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, whose mission is to address the unmet needs of mother struggling with these devastating disorders. To raise awareness and galvanize community resources.

Congratulations to Kimberly for all that she and her team of advocates have achieve and continue to achieve.

It is so encouraging that a major publication like the LA Times, chose to feature this story in their Sunday Edition. This will further validate the critical work being done by Kimberly and LA County Task Force.

Thanks also to Kurt Streeter, who reported this story, and who shared his own candid revelations about his family’s struggle with PPD.

Click here to read the article.

Posted in Kimberly Wong, Kurt Streeter, postpartum depression | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can the Guilt

Just a decade ago, one was hard pressed to find any book which even mentioned the term postpartum depression. Among medical texts, personal stories, clinical handbooks, public policy and research, there was scant reference. I will never forget Carol Blocker’s revelation of her desperate attempts to understand what scourge had overtaken her daughter’s life and telling a roomful of Congressmen that after canvassing hundreds of books she found only a tiny description of the illness which offered no further guidance or resources.

Thankfully, recognition and writings have come. We now have more crowded shelves on the topic with wonderful choices – thoughtful books written by researchers, healthcare providers, advocates, policy makers, survivors and clinicians. One only has to google postpartum depression to find unlimited offerings of such resources. Many of these authors are those who have walked along side us as we fought so hard for more awareness, better treatement and accessible resources.

Sylvia Lasalandra Frodella was among the first to publish an unvarnished chronicle of her personal experience with severe PPD. A Daughter’s Touch galvanized those who read it with understanding, dread, compassion and a desire to become advocates united against ignorance.

Sylvia walked the walk (often through the streets of Washington DC in her four inch heels) and talked the talk (to groups of hundreds or in one on one conversations with a mother in need), never refusing to share her story where enlightenment could lead to healing. But such constant revelation comes at a price – the price of reliving life’s darkest moments and wrestling with the questions that arise.

She followed this first publication with a beautiful book for the children of mothers who had PPD entitled Mommy, were you Happy the Day I was Born? This story answers questions that children of all ages may have when they reflect on their early childhood and their mother’s history of postnatal struggle.

We now have a triology of books from Sylvia as she again leads the way in her focus on the emotional aftermath of PPD. With Can the Guilt, Sylvia addresses the often overwhelming and destructive feelings of self-doubt that can plague mothers who have long recovered from the severest symptoms of PPD’s depression and anxiety. Such guilt can persist and continue to intrude into a mother’s sensitive psyche, a world in which she alone is ultimately responsible for her child’s happiness or despair. The factual reality and potential damage of such perceptions is the core of the book’s funny, wise, insightful and encouraging content.

Can the Guilt is scheduled for publication in October, 2012. PPD survivors actress Brooke Shields and former NJ First Lady Mary Jo Codey offer their endorsements of its important message. This is a book to offer mothers when life has returned to normal but restrospective damage control continues. I will alert you when it is available to be ordered.

Posted in Brooke Shields, Mary Jo Codey, postpartum depression and guilt, postpartum depression questions, postpartum depression research, postpartum depression therapy, Susan Dowd Stone, Sylvia Lasalandra | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Presidential Proclamation National Women’s Health Week

President Barack Obama

Presidential Proclamation — National Women’s Health Week
– – – – – – –

Women have guided our country toward prosperity and progress, and our Nation’s success depends on their well-being. While women often play a leading role in making medical decisions for their families, their own health care needs have too often gone unmet. During National Women’s Health Week, we recommit to making health care more accessible and affordable for women across our country.

As President, I have made advancing gender equality in health care a top priority. Through the historic Affordable Care Act, we are reversing many of the worst abuses of the health insurance industry. Beginning in 2014, many insurers will no longer be allowed to charge women higher premiums simply because of their gender, and it will be illegal for most insurance companies to deny coverage to women because they have a pre-existing condition, including cancer or pregnancy. Health plans will also be required to cover maternity care. The law already enables women in new insurance plans to see any primary care provider or OB-GYN, or bring their children to any pediatrician in their health plan’s network without a referral, and it prevents most insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

My Administration has fought to make preventive care accessible to all. Under the Affordable Care Act, we eliminated out-of-pocket costs for recommended preventive services such as mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, contraception, and well-woman visits under most plans. In 2011 alone, more than 20 million women received expanded access to these services at no additional cost.

National Women’s Health Week presents an opportunity for all women to prioritize their well-being by scheduling annual check-ups and screenings. To find more information on women’s preventive care, visit

As we celebrate the progress we have made, we recognize that American families cannot afford a return to the days when women were over-charged and denied access to critical services. During National Women’s Health Week, let us move forward in pursuit of a fairer, healthier America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 13 through May 19, 2012, as National Women’s Health Week. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the progress we have made in protecting women’s health and to promote awareness, prevention, and educational activities that improve the health of all women.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.



Some of the partners of this week’s celebration are:

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, BlogHer, Stroller Strides, TEXT4BABY, Speaking of Women’s Health, Strong Woman, North Shore Long Island Jewish Healthcare System, National Council on Aging, Wellpoint, Zumba, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Better Hearing Institute, Adora, Amgen, Choose You, Curves, Da Vinci Surgery, Medela, National Bone Health Alliance, National Panhellenic Conference

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National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition to offer Educational Webinar during National Women’s Health Week!

Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition joins the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health in celebrating National Women’s Health Week with a Webinar on the mental health needs of moms before, during and after pregnancy.

HMHB was the first major maternal-infant health organization to include the issue of maternal mental health among their priorities. Their acclaimed TEXT4BABY program includes – among its messages related to mother/baby well-bring throughout pregnancy and the first year of life – encouragement to mothers to reach out for help should symptoms of depression develop.

The Webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Featuring therapist, author and maternal mental health expert Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW, the Webinar will offer an overview of this critical issue for maternal-child health, spotlighting the importance of prevention and awareness. Among the topics to be covered: minimizing the long-term effects of mental health problems, how mom’s emotional wellness can enhance baby’s first year of life, and helpful resources for both providers and parents.

Register by clicking here

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Hudson Valley Birth Network Conference to focus on establishing continuum of care in perinatal mental health

The Hudson Valley Birth Network

From the Hudson Vally Birth Network:

As advocates and professionals concerned with perinatal mental health, a current issue of major concern is how to connect the life-saving services of all perinatal professionals and support systems in a way that will provide a continuum of care of new mothers, their infants and families. The Hudson Valley Birth Network invites you to attend a one-day conference on this critical topic on May 15, 2012. The conference will be held from 9 AM to 4 PM at The James House Mansion at Phelps Memorial Hospital 701 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591.

The program will open with a re-broadcast of Emmy Award winning Sara Lee Kessler’s inaugural PBS series “Healthbeat” featuring postpartum depression and steps taken so far to attempt to facilitate these community connections. This conference offers the only additional current opportunity to see this acclaimed presentation as it will not be available online.

Keynote Speaker will be Susan Dowd Stone MSW, LCSW an award winning author, advocate and mental health expert and former president of Postpartum Support International. Susan is a NJHHS Certified Perinatal Mood Disorders Instructor, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the MSW program at the Silver School of Social Work, New York University and public reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health. Her co-edited book Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders. Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Health Care Practitioner, has been adopted by professional education programs around the world. A book signing will allow participants to purchase this essential manual at a discounted price.

Following the keynote presentation, an afternoon panel discussion will take place featuring the following experts from the world of perinatal mental health:

Sabrina Khan, MD, Reproductive Psychiatrist, NYU Medical Center, New York, NY.

Dr. Khan is Board certified in both Psychiatry and Neurology. She is a Clinical Instructor at NYU Medical Center. She lectures and supervises students on perinatal mood disorders.

Dr. Khan will discuss her work treating women experiencing mood and anxiety symptoms related to their menstrual cycle, during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as perimenopause/menopause. She will describe her evaluation of the need for psychotherapy and/or medication and her review of the risks of medication in perinatal period, including teratogenicity, neonatal complications and neurodevelopmental teratogenicity.

This includes a review of the risks of untreated illness, so the patient can make an informed decision. She describes her role as a coordinator of care with the obstetrician, therapist and pediatrician.

Jennifer Moore, MD, IBCLC, FAAP Lactation Consultant and Pediatrician, Advanced Pediatrics in Norwalk, CT.

Dr. Moore has published and presented work on breastfeeding. She is the medical director of the Nightingales Breastfeeding Center and is a general pediatrician.

Dr. Moore will describe the mental health aspects of becoming a mother. She will present the concept of the Breastfeeding Dyad. She will consider medical problems the mother and /or the newborn might face and inform us about studies that indicate that the mental health of the mother as well as bonding is improved by breastfeeding even in the setting of depression and anxiety.

Dr. Moore will describe the ways in which her pediatric practice uniquely addresses these issues from prenatal, perinatal and postnatal support and care of the dyad, optimizing the outcome for both mother and baby.

Sheryl McGavin, Licensed Craniosacral therapist, Owner/Clinician of Sheryl McGavin PLLC in Charlotte, NC. Ms. McGavin is also a former instructor at the Upledger Institute, FLA.

Sheryl McGavin will describe the supportive role of craniosacral therapy in the identification and treatment of perinatal mood disorders. Her presentation will include the anatomy and physiology of the craniosacral system and the treatment principles of craniosacral therapy including the somatoemotional release process.
Ms. McGavin will also address how craniosacral therapy can assist in the detection and treatment of perinatal mood disorders and the positive effects craniosacral therapy has on the function of the automatic nervous system.

Catherine Gallagher, CNM, Connecticut Childbirth and Women’s Center, Danbury, CT

Experiencing her own Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) with a midwife in attendance changed the course of her life and career! It’s that change that led her to Childbirth Education and consumer advocacy, becoming a doula, labor & delivery Nurse, and culminating in her career as midwife. She is fulfilled in her work, especially the kind she is able to practice at the CCWC. She believes that birth is a pivotal life experience, and takes pride in bringing together the emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of healthcare – so often lacking in today’s medical world.

Whether patients choose the hospital or the Birth Center, her commitment to caring for women and their families within a midwifery philosophy is unwavering. She also enjoys working within a full scope practice that offers prenatal care as well as Gynecology, and family planning.

Ms. Gallagher will review her work with women at the CCWC, highlighting postpartum work and support within a midwifery model. She will discuss opportunities to screen for postpartum mood disorders and clarify the development of practitioner networks.

Katherine Stone, founder and editor of Postpartum Progress Inc.

Ms. Stone is an award-winning, nationally-recognized peer advocate for women who suffer mental illnesses related to pregnancy & childbirth. She is the creator & editor of Postpartum Progress, a non-profit focused on improving the health and well-being of women, children and families by improving access to quality services and support for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Ms. Stone will discuss her work which includes going wherever necessary to speak about how common postpartum depression is and to combat the terrible stigma related to this illness. She has shared her struggle with Postpartum OCD openly and written about PPD as a contributing expert for BlogHer, the world’s top community for and guide to blogs for and by women.

Ms. Stone has personally responded to thousands upon thousands of emails from suffering mothers, helping them to find professional help and encouraging them along their journey to recovery.

ACNM Credits, 7 DONA CEU’s and 2 CERPS for IBCLC’s, have been applied for.

The cost of the conference which includes lunch is $100 for Hudson Valley Birth Network Members and $125.00 for the general public.

To register, click here.

Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers, strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

Barbara Katz-Rothman

Posted in Healthbeat, Hudson Valley Birth Network, Katherine Stone, postpartum depression, postpartum depression conferences, postpartum depression trainings, Sara Lee Kessler, Susan Dowd Stone | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hudson Valley Birth Network Conference to focus on establishing continuum of care in perinatal mental health