Monday October 15, 2012

The Public Education Series, sponsored by the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention, continues on Wednesday (Oct. 17) with a discussion on postpartum depression.

The presenter is Liz Friedman, program director of MotherWomen Inc. and founder of the Postpartum Support Initiative. The talk, which is open to the public, is from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Brien Center’s first floor conference room, 333 East St., Pittsfield.

Postpartum depression is the leading complication of childbirth, with postpartum mood disorders impacting 10 to 20 percent of all mothers and up to half of mothers in poverty. Perinatal mood disorders affect mothers’ emotional and physical health as well as that of their children.

Although suicide is one of the leading causes of mortality for postpartum mothers in the baby’s first year of life, universal screening, education and treatment are not available to many mothers in Berkshire County, according to Friedman.

The Berkshire County Perinatal Support Coalition is working to change that, using a model developed by the MotherWoman organization and currently being implemented in Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The coalition is putting primary steps in place to ensure that mothers receive needed care and treatment.

Friedman will also talk about postpartum depression legislation in the state and next steps.