Woman's Hospital to open the state's first in-patient mental health unit dedicated to pregnant and postpartum patients
BATON ROUGE - A perinatal mental health unit is scheduled to open at Woman’s Hospital next year and will be one of several in the U.S. dedicated to the specialized needs of pregnant and postpartum women.
"Mental health challenges are a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in our country. 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," said Senior Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer Cheri Barker Johnson, MSN, RNC-OB.
According to the CDC, maternal mental health conditions, such as anxiety, perinatal and postpartum depression, and birth-related PTSD are among the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting one in five women. Sevetny-five percent of those affected go untreated. Additionally, mental health conditions are a leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S.
The 10-bed unit will allow mothers to spend time with their newborns and other mothers who are facing similar challenges.
“As the largest provider of maternity care for women in Louisiana, it’s our responsibility to address all aspects of perinatal health. 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,” said Rene Ragas, president and CEO of Woman’s.