Depression During And After Pregnancy Can Be Prevented, National Panel Says. Here’s How.
It highlighted two specific programs, which were similarly successful, Dr. Davidson said. They counsel first-time mothers and those who already have children. They are available in Spanish and focus on low-income women, about 30 percent of whom develop perinatal depression, experts say.
One program, “Mothers and Babies,” includes cognitive behavioral therapy in eight to 17 group sessions, often delivered in clinics or community health centers, primarily during pregnancy with at least two sessions postpartum.
“It’s really meant to break down this idea that talking about your thoughts and behaviors is scary,” said Darius Tandon, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and principal investigator of several “Mothers and Babies” studies.
So far, health and human service agencies in over 175 counties in 21 states have been trained to implement the program. It is also being evaluated in Florida and the Midwest to see if it works when administered one-on-one by home visiting caseworkers instead of groups run by psychologists or social workers, Dr. Tandon said.
The other program, “Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for New Moms” or ROSE, typically delivered in four sessions during pregnancy and one postpartum, can be administered in groups or one-on-one by nurses, midwives or anyone trained to follow the manual, said Jennifer Johnson, a professor of public health at Michigan State University.
So far, women in Rhode Island, Mississippi and Japan have participated, said ROSE’s creator, Caron Zlotnick, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. She and Dr. Johnson are testing its expansion to 90 clinics throughout the country.
Karla Manica, 30, a single mother of four in Detroit, participated in “Mothers and Babies” when pregnant with her youngest, who is now 1. She said she experienced abuse as a child and in relationships, attempted suicide by drinking cleaner, lived in homeless shelters after being laid off from her job as a dementia caregiver, and has had bipolar depression.