Article 4.2. Maternal Mental Health
This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Maternal Mental Health Conditions Education, Early Diagnosis, and Treatment Act.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Maternal depression is a common complication of pregnancy. Maternal mental health disorders encompass a range of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and postpartum psychosis.
(b) Maternal mental health conditions affect one in five women during or after pregnancy, but all women are at risk of suffering from maternal mental health conditions.
(c) Untreated maternal mental health conditions significantly and negatively impact the short- and long-term health and wellbeing of affected women and their children.
(d) Untreated maternal mental health conditions cause adverse birth outcomes, impaired maternal-infant bonding, poor infant growth, childhood emotional and behavioral problems, and significant medical and economic costs, estimated to be $22,500 per mother.
(e) Lack of understanding and social stigma of mental health conditions prevent women and families from understanding the signs, symptoms, and risks involved with maternal mental health conditions and disproportionately affect women who lack access to social support networks.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to raise awareness of the risk factors, signs, symptoms, and treatment options for maternal mental health conditions among pregnant women and their families, the general public, primary health care providers, and health care providers who care for pregnant women, postpartum women, and newborn infants.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Maternal mental health condition” means a mental health condition that occurs during pregnancy or during the postpartum period and includes, but is not limited to, postpartum depression.
(b) “Perinatal unit” is a maternity and newborn service of a hospital for the provision of care during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum and neonatal periods with appropriate staff, space, equipment, and supplies.
A general acute care hospital or special hospital, as defined in subdivisions (a) and (f) of Section 1250, that has a perinatal unit, in collaboration with medical staff, shall, by January 1, 2020, develop and implement a program to provide education and information to appropriate health care professionals and patients about maternal mental health conditions.
The program developed pursuant to this article shall include all of the following:
(a) Education and information for postpartum women and families about maternal mental health conditions, posthospital treatment options, and community resources.
(b) Education and information for hospital employees regularly assigned to work in the perinatal unit, including, as appropriate, registered nurses and social workers, about maternal mental health conditions.
(c) Any other service the hospital determines should be included in the program to provide optimal patient care.