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Maternal Child Health

Healthy Moms, Babies and Families

The Maternal Child Health Program at Denver Public Health is dedicated to meeting the ongoing and changing needs of all mothers, fathers, infants and children in Denver.

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Pregnancy-Related Depression (PRD)

Pregnancy-related depression and anxiety (PRD) is the most common problem of pregnancy, affecting about one in seven women in the United States. PRD can occur at any time during pregnancy and/or within the first year of having a baby. It may also happen after a pregnancy loss or adopting a baby. PRD is different from the "baby blues", which tend to go away on their own within two weeks after the loss or birth of a child. PRD is a serious condition that affects a woman's physical and mental health, and does not usually get better on its own. However, PRD is treatable with self-care, social support from friends and family, counseling and/or medication.

PRD and Parenting

Parenting doesn't always turn out the way we expected, and PRD symptoms can make parenting feel even harder. PRD symptoms may get in the way of feeling close to your baby the way you imagined. Having ideas of things to do with your baby can help. The following links provide tips for interacting with your baby. Trying some of these activities may help you feel better, and can help with your baby's development:

Screening/Checking for PRD

We are improving women's mental health by encouraging health care providers to screen women for PRD during prenatal doctor visits (before giving birth), postpartum doctor visits (after giving birth), and at well child visits. Several different tools can be used to check for PRD, including the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire. Screening helps to start the conversation about PRD, identify symptoms early and discuss options to treat PRD symptoms when needed. These results are confidential, just like the rest of your medical record, so try to be honest with your doctor.

Community Resources

Many resources are available to help women with PRD. Please reach out if you or someone you love could use help.

Public Awareness

In partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Public Health is participating in a public awareness campaign to encourage women and their support systems to recognize symptoms of PRD and get help. All materials include information about Postpartum Support International, a free and confidential service that helps women over the phone.

Ask Your Doctor/Health Care Provider:

  • If they screen/check for PRD regularly during prenatal (before giving birth) or postpartum (after giving birth) doctor visits.
  • How they treat PRD
  • About local resources for PRD
  • How PRD may impact your baby, and resources to support a healthy relationship with your baby.
  • About any PRD symptoms you may be experiencing. Some examples include:
    • Feeling sad or depressed
    • Having difficulty bonding with your baby
    • Having upsetting thoughts

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Healthy Moms, Babies and Families Contact Information

Contact Us

Kellie Teter

Maternal Child Health Manager

303-602-3709

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