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MNAAP Newsletter

Postpartum Depression Screening in Pediatrics made Meaningful, Simple and Reimbursable

HelenKimheadshot-tessaBy Helen Kim, MD, Director of the HCMC Mother-Baby Program, and Tessa Wetjen, Minnesota Department of Human Services

The AAP has clearly stated that pediatricians must lead efforts to reduce the impact of toxic stress on children given the lifelong impact of adverse childhood experiences on physical and mental health.

Postpartum depression occurs in 10 to 35 percent of mothers (Berkule, et al., 2014) and poses a significant risk for toxic stress in children by undermining a mother’s ability to provide the nurturing interactions children need for healthy development. Children of depressed mothers or fathers are more likely to perform lower on cognitive, emotional and behavioral assessment (Berkule, et al., 2014) and have increased risk of mental health issues later in life (Ferro & Boyle, 2015).

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