|BILL AS INTRODUCED||2007-2008|
Introduced by Representatives Pellett of Chester, Donovan of Burlington, Gervais of Enosburg, Martin of Springfield, Milkey of Brattleboro, Mook of Bennington and Orr of Charlotte
Subject: Health; education; postpartum depression
Statement of purpose: This bill would require licensed health care professionals providing prenatal care to educate women and their families about postpartum depression, and require licensed health care professionals providing postnatal care to screen new mothers for the disorder.
AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION AND SCREENING FOR POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec.1. 18 V.S.A. chapter 39 is added:
CHAPTER 39. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
§ 1771. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION; EDUCATION AND SCREENING
The commissioner of health in conjunction with the board of medical practice and the Vermont state board of nursing shall work with health care facilities and health care professionals to develop policies and procedures that meet the following requirements regarding postpartum depression:
(1) Physicians, nurse midwives, and other licensed health care professionals providing prenatal care to women shall provide education to women and their families about postpartum depression in order to lower the likelihood that new mothers will continue to suffer from this illness in silence.
(2) All birthing facilities in the state shall provide departing new mothers and fathers and other family members, as appropriate, with complete information about postpartum depression, including its symptoms, methods of coping with the illness, and treatment resources.
(3) Physicians, nurse midwives, and other licensed health care professionals providing postnatal care to women shall screen new mothers for postpartum depression symptoms prior to discharge from birthing facilities and at initial postnatal checkups and visits.
(4) Physicians, nurse midwives, and other licensed health care professionals providing postnatal care to women shall include fathers and other family members, as appropriate, in both the education and treatment processes to help them better understand the nature and causes of postpartum depression so that they can overcome the effects of the illness and increase their ability to be supportive of the new mother.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street