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Pregnant Pause                        

March 29, 2013                                                                                                  
Issue #24
Because there is no health without Mental Health!

New study finds that 1 in 7 mothers experience postpartum depression


A new study in JAMA is the largest scale depression screening of postpartum women and the first time a full psychiatric assessment has been done in a study of postpartum women who screened positive for depression. Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, researchers screened 10,000 new mothers at 4 to 6 weeks postpartum by telephone. Approximately 59% of women then completed psychiatric evaluations in their homes and 10.5% completed diagnostic interviews via telephone. Approximately 14%, or 1 in 7 women, screened positive for postpartum depression. Women who screened positive were more likely to be younger, African American, publicly insured, single, and less well educated. Almost two-thirds of women had comorbid anxiety disorders, and 22.6% had bipolar disorders. Commenting on the findings, Dr. Katherine L. Wisner, lead study author, notes:

"In the U.S., the vast majority of postpartum women with depression are not identified or treated even though they are at higher risk for psychiatric disorders. It's a huge public health problem. A woman's mental health has a profound effect on fetal development as well as her child's physical and emotional development."


Access the study in JAMA here and an article about it in Science Daily here.


Spotlight in NIMH newsletter


Project Healthy Moms is featured in NIMH's first issue of Outreach Connection! An overview of our programs is provided, as well as information about the Georgia Coalition on Maternal Mental Health. See our spotlight in the "Tackling Disparities" section here.


Did you know?

New research in Pediatrics studied depression and anxiety among mothers during maternity hospitalization. They found that more mothers screened positive for postpartum state anxiety (17%) than for postpartum depression (5%). Study authors concluded that state anxiety screening during the postpartum hospital stay could improve health outcomes.

Access the article here.


Researchers have found that women who receive strong social support from their families during pregnancy appear to be protected from sharp increases in a particular stress hormone, making them less likely to develop postpartum depression.

Click here to access the article in Clinical Psychological Science.


A 6-year longitudinal study has found that mothers with poorer mental health reported that their infants had more night waking and bedtime distress. Furthermore, mothers with poorer mental health were more bothered by these sleep issues.

Read more here.


 for MHA of GA's 22nd Annual Tournament

Tee Off for Mental Health 2013


Chateau Elan  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chateau Elan Golf

Braselton, GA



 Click on this link for more information 

or contact Cindy Cohen to register 



The Prenatal Outcomes Study       

A new research study for pregnant women & their babies



Are you a pregnant woman, at least 18 years old, with no history of psychiatric illness OR you have a diagnosis of depression, have been treated for depression, or suspect that you might have depression?


You may qualify for a research study by the Emory Women's Mental Health Program. Researchers want to better understand how factors during pregnancy, such as the mother's mood, mental health, and sleep habits, may influence a newborn's brain development. The study involves 1-3 visits during pregnancy, as well as a visit after birth that also involves the baby. Compensation will be provided for time and travel, and you will also receive feedback about your baby's assessment.


If you're interested in learning more, please contact the study coordinator,

Julie Carroll, at 404-727-0561 or




Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the #1 complication of childbirth in the US, affecting approximately 10-15% of childbearing women. Project Healthy Moms' PMAD Screening and Identification Trainings are aimed at healthcare providers (e.g. physicians, nurses, social workers) who come in contact with childbearing women. Through this program, healthcare providers who are involved in maternal and child health are trained to recognize symptoms of the various PMADs and consequences of untreated PMADs. During the training, providers learn how to screen mothers for PMADs and are also educated about treatment options and referral methods. The goal of the training is to ensure that healthcare providers are able to correctly and routinely identify and refer women who may be suffering from PMADs in their practices.


To learn more and schedule a training, please contact Liz Smulian at or at 678-904-1968.



Did you know that Mental Health America of Georgia has a resource list for pregnant and postpartum women? It is updated regularly and provides contact information for healthcare providers and outlets for self-care for pregnant or postpartum women.


To access the list, visit, then go to 

Our Programs > Project Healthy Moms > Resource List.



The Project Healthy Moms Warmline is available in English and Spanish for ALL Georgia women seeking peer support and resource linkage for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders! Georgia women can phone in to the toll-free Project Healthy Moms Warmline, call the local Georgia number or email to contact a mother who has experienced and overcome perinatal depression/anxiety and who can provide emotional support and suggest appropriate resources. Please leave a message when you call the Warmline, and a support person will respond as soon as possible. It does get better!


Toll Free: 1-800-933-9896, ext. 234 (#1 for Spanish) 

Local: 678-904-1966 (#1 for Spanish) 

Email: (English) (Spanish)




Project Healthy Moms is an important initiative of MHA of Georgia.  Perinatal mood disorders are the most common complication of childbirth.  In the United States, between 10% and 15% of new mothers suffer from these devastating illnesses which, if not properly treated, can have a long-term negative impact on the health of not only the mothers, but their children and families as well.  Our goal is to increase awareness, identification, treatment, and support of perinatal mood disorders in Georgia, while also reducing the stigma associated with them.  To learn more about Project Healthy Moms, click here.

Project Healthy Moms is only one of many programs developed by MHA of Georgia to further our mission of enhancing the mental health of all Georgians through education, outreach, and advocacy. Click here to learn more about MHA of Georgia's other programs.  Your support will help us continue our work educating Georgians about mental illness, striving to eliminate stigma, and advocating on behalf of people with  mental illness in our state.  Click here to support MHA of Georgia.

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