Great news for Baton Rouge moms: Woman’s Hospital will open Louisiana’s first inpatient mental health unit for pregnant and postpartum women in September 2024.
Pregnancy and having a baby can trigger intense emotions, from excitement and happiness to being overwhelmed and anxious. Women face hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibilities of caring for a child that can contribute to these intense emotions and the chance for postpartum depression.
Woman’s Hospital Opening Mental Health Unit in Baton Rouge
Maternal mental health conditions are a leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S. and affect one in five women, yet those conditions go untreated 75% of the time, Woman’s says.
“A perinatal mental health unit at Woman’s Hospital will be designed to address these issues as we strive to move the needle on maternal health and mortality rates,” Cheri Barker Johnson, Woman’s senior vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer, says in a prepared announcement.
The planned 10-bed unit, which officials say will be one of “several” of its kind nationwide, is scheduled to open next September.
Some eye-opening facts: Anxiety, perinatal and postpartum depression, and birth-related PTSD affect one in five women during pregnancy or childbirth, according to the CDC. Shockingly, 75% of these cases go untreated, and mental health conditions contribute to maternal mortality.
Rene Ragas, President and CEO of Woman’s Hospital, highlights their commitment to comprehensive perinatal care. “By meeting the needs of women experiencing pregnancy or postpartum-related mental health conditions, Woman’s Hospital advances our mission of improving the health of women and infants,” he says.
Postpartum Mental Health Statistics:
- 1 in 5 women experience mental health conditions during pregnancy or postpartum.
- 75% of these women do not receive treatment for their mental health issues.
- Maternal mental health conditions, including anxiety, perinatal and postpartum depression, and birth-related PTSD, are among the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
- Mental health conditions are a leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States.
- Pregnancy and postpartum mental health challenges contribute significantly to maternal morbidity rates.
- Access to specialized perinatal mental health care is limited, with only a few dedicated units in the United States.
- Support and treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with mental health conditions are crucial for their well-being and the health of their infants.
This mental health unit is a vital step toward better maternal health outcomes, offering support and hope for moms in need. It’s a stride toward a safer and healthier future for mothers and their little ones.
“As the largest provider of maternity care for women in Louisiana, it’s our responsibility to address all aspects of perinatal health,” says Rene Ragas, president and CEO of Woman’s.