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Intensive Outpatient Program Hopes To Fill Gap In Mental Health Care For New Moms

Allegheny Health Network hopes to fill a gap in coverage for new moms with an Intensive Outpatient Program. Clinical psychologist Rebecca Weinberg said treatment for mothers suffering from pregnancy-related depression often jumps between regular outpatient care and expensive in-patient care.

A new three-hour intensive outpatient program at Western Pennsylvania Hospital three days a week will offer intensive group therapy, medication management and allow women to bring their babies with them.

“This has kind of been identified as a reason moms don’t get into intensive care because it’s just not possible to leave a baby with someone or they don’t want to be separated from their babies,” Weinberg said.

Many women don't seek treatment because they don’t know they need it, she said.

Weinberg said AHN wants to change that by screening every woman’s mental health at her regular obstetrician appointments. One in seven pregnant women will experience some kind of expression or anxiety in pregnancy or in the post-partum period, according to Weinberg.

(Photo via Quinn Dombrowski/flickr)