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On Tuesday, the First lady Chirlane McCray announced that all new moms at the city’s public hospital and a major Brooklyn hospital will be screened for maternal depression. The city’s Health and Hospitals, which together handles 33% of the city’s births, have pledged to make depression checks universal for pregnant women and new mothers within two years. The city’s health and Hospitals runs 11 hospitals and Maimonides Medical Center. She said that screening for post-partum depression has not been part of a woman’s routine care.
She said that depression in combination with stigma and fear of being labeled as bad mom can keep women away from helping their babies and no women wants to be bad mother. Main goal of New York City is universal screening of maternal depression and the Greater New York Hospital Association is also working on bringing other hospitals on board. About 12,000 to 15,000 cases or 10% of women suffer with post-partum depression every year in the City. As per the part of the screening, women will be asked few questions by doctors to check for the symptoms of depression.
McCray’s is developing the first new program under a mental health roadmap. Paige Bellenbaum, Brooklyn mom, shared her experience that she sunk into severe depression and even considered suicide after giving birth to her son Max in 2006. But, later she started loving her son and family after joining screening programs, which helped her recover her disease.