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Governor Wolf Praises Passage of Bipartisan House Bill to Assist New Moms

June 13, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today praised the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for passing House Bill 200, sponsored by Reps. Tarah Toohil and Mike Schlossberg, that would help new moms struggling with postpartum depression (PPD). Governor Wolf urged the Senate to quickly pass it.

“Supporting new moms is critically important to protect the health and well-being of Pennsylvania families,” Governor Wolf said. “This bill is a smart step toward supporting moms after they give birth. Many women struggle with postpartum depression, which can impact their children and entire family.

“We must continue to work together to expand health care access in the Commonwealth, and it is my hope that this commonsense legislation gets to my desk as soon as possible.”

According to the sponsors, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that postpartum depression (PPD) can lead to increased costs of medical care, child abuse and neglect, and can adversely affect a child’s early brain development. The Academy recommends pediatricians refer the mother and her infant to community services that serve them together. Because of the costs of postpartum depression and risks to infants, this legislation would include postpartum depression as an At Risk Category for Early Intervention Tracking under Pennsylvania Law (Act 212).

House Bill 200 would help to ensure that infants and their mothers affected by postpartum depression have access to services that are currently in place in their community that provide support and referrals necessary for the healthy development of infants. Mothers at high risk for postpartum depression and their infant who are referred by a physician, healthcare provider, or parent would be automatically eligible for assessment and tracking by Pennsylvania’s Early Intervention programs. These programs exist in every county.

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