Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mothers Act Blog Day

BlogHers Act: Blog Day for the Mothers Act
Today, Wednesday October 24th, BlogHer, Postpartum Support International and Postpartum Progress are joining together to host Blog Day for the MOTHERS Act. They’ve asked bloggers from around the country to write about the MOTHERS Act for postpartum depression today and to encourage their readers to pick up the phone that day, call their Senators and urge them to endorse this critical legislation. This effort is part of the overall BlogHers Act 2007-2008 initiative to improve maternal health.
What is the MOTHERS Act?


The Moms Opportunity to Access Help, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act, or MOTHERS Act (S. 1375), will ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms and provided with essential services. In addition, it will increase research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression. The bill is sponsored by Senators Menendez and Durbin.
Postpartum depression is a serious and disabling condition that affects up to 20 percent of new mothers — as much as 800,000 American women each year. Yet only 15 percent of these women will receive any assessment or treatment. Let me repeat. With all we know and as smart as we are, only 15% of 800,000 women will get diagnosed and treated. That is so wrong on so many levels. Women are not being diagnosed because they’re not being educated and they’re not being screened. Untreated, the consequences of maternal mood disorders range from chronic, disabling depression to death. The impact of untreated maternal depression on infants/children ranges from behavioral and learning disabilities to depression and, in the worst case scenarios, death from infanticide.
Specifically, the MOTHERS Act will help new moms by:
* Providing important education and screening on postpartum depression (PPD) that can lead to early identification and treatment. The legislation includes two grants to help healthcare providers educate, identify and treat PPD.
* Expanding important research to improve and discover new treatments, diagnostic tools and educational materials for providers. Since the exact cause of PPD isn’t known, research continues to be the key to unlocking the mystery of this condition.
The bill is currently with the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee of the Senate. If the majority of the HELP Committee members endorse the MOTHERS Act, the bill will move forward for consideration by the Senate. Without Senate sponsors, the bill could languish in committee and await reintroduction at a future date. The moms of America can’t wait for that.
Most Senators rarely hear from mothers (and others!), and phone calls from you and your readers will cause them to sit up and take notice on a specific issue. Writing or sending emails has much less impact.
With your support, Blog Day for the MOTHERS Act can truly have a measurable impact.
Here is what you do.
Below you will find a complete listing of U.S. Senators and their Washington DC telephone numbers. This is a bipartisan issue that BOTH Democratic and Republican state senators need to support.
Just PICK UP THE PHONE and CALL!! If the line is busy, call back or leave your message.??And if your state senator has already signed on to sponsor The MOTHERS Act, call them anyway to express your thanks and support of their stance, to let them know how much this matters and to keep their attention focused on the issue!?
A suggested script is below to help the legislative responders in each office identify the referenced bill and the reason for your call. But feel free to add your own powerful and personal ideas/statements about why you feel the passage of this legislation is so important!?
REMEMBER – Up to 800,000 women in the U.S. will develop a diagnosable perinatal mood disorder this year! (This does not include women whose babies are stillborn, who miscarry or suffer pregnancy termination). Yet only 15% of these women will receive any treatment. We need to do a better job screening, educating and treating our nation’s mothers!
The MOTHERS Act addresses these concerns and offers the common sense and needed remedies of screening, education, provision of services and research. Thanks to your efforts it will not go unnoticed! Let’s move this out of the HELP committee and into the full senate!!?
Suggested Script??”Hello this is (your name) one of Senator (Senator’s name) constituents from (your town). I am calling to ask the Senator to co-sponsor The MOTHERS Act bill number S. 1375, sponsored by Senator Menendez, which will provide funding for research, education, screening and treatment of postpartum depression.”
Contact Information by State:
Sessions (R-AL) 202-224-4124?Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744?
Alaska?Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665?Stevens (R-AK) 202-224-3004?
Arizona?Kyl (R-AZ) 202-224-4521?McCain (R-AZ) 202-224-2235?
Arkansas?Lincoln (D-AR) 202-224-4843?Pryor (D-AR) 202-224-2353?
California?Boxer (D-CA) 202-224-3553 – Thank you to Senator Barbara Boxer for signing on as a sponsor!!!?Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841?
Colorado?Allard (R-CO) 202-224-5941?Salazar (D-CO) 202-224-5852??
Connecticut?Dodd (D-CT) 202-224-2823 – Thank you to Senator Christopher Dodd for signing on as a sponsor!! THE ONLY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WHO HAS SIGNED ON.?Lieberman (ID-CT) 202-224-4041??
Delaware?Biden (D-DE) 202-224-5042?Carper (D-DE) 202-224-2441??
Florida?Martinez (R-FL) 202-224-3041?Nelson (D-FL) 202-224-5274??
Georgia?Chambliss (R-GA) 202-224-3521?Isakson (R-GA) 202-224-3643??
Hawaii?Akaka (D-HI) 202-224-6361?Inouye (D-HI) 202-224-3934??
Idaho?Craig (R-ID) 202-224-2752?Crapo (R-ID) 202-224-6142??
Illinois?Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152 – Thanks to Senator Durbin for being the lead co sponsor of this bill!?Obama (D-IL) 202-224-2854??
Indiana?Bayh (D-IN) 202-224-5623?Lugar (R-IN) 202-224-4814??
Iowa?Grassley (R-IA) 202-224-3744?Harkin (D-IA) 202-224-3254??
Kansas?Brownback (R-KS) 202-224-6521?Roberts (R-KS) 202-224-4774??
Kentucky?Bunning (R-KY) 202-224-4343?McConnell (R-KY) 202-224-2541??
Louisiana?Landrieu (D-LA) 202-224-5824?Vitter (R-LA) 202-224-4623??
Maine?Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523?Snowe (R-ME) 202-224-5344 Thank you to Senator Olympia Snowe for signing on as a sponsor!??
Maryland?Cardin (D-MD) 202-224-4524?Mikulski (D-MD) 202-224-4654??
Massachusetts?Kennedy (D-MA) 202-224-4543?Kerry (D-MA) 202-224-2742??
Michigan?Levin (D-MI) 202-224-6221?Stabenow (D-MI) 202-224-4822??
Minnesota?Coleman (R-MN) 202-224-5641?Klobuchar (D-MN) 202-224-3244??
Mississippi?Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054?Lott (R-MS) 202-224-6253??
Missouri?Bond (R-MO) 202-224-5721?McCaskill (D-MO) 202-224-6154??
Montana?Baucus (D-MT) 202-224-2651?Tester (D-MT) 202-224-2644??
Nebraska?Hagel (R-NE) 202-224-4224?Nelson (D-NE) 202-224-6551??
Nevada?Ensign (R-NV) 202-224-6244?Reid (D-NV) 202-224-3542??
New Hampshire?Gregg (R-NH) 202-224-3324?Sununu (R-NH) 202-224-2841??
New Jersey?Lautenberg (D-NJ) 202-224-3224 – Thank you to Senator Lautenberg for signing on as a sponsor!?Menendez (D-NJ) 202-224-4744 – Thank you to Senator Robert Menendez for introducing this bill!!??
New Mexico?Bingaman (D-NM) 202-224-5521?Domenici (R-NM) 202-224-6621??
New York?Clinton (D-NY) 202-224-4451?Schumer (D-NY) 202-224-6542??
North Carolina?Burr (R-NC) 202-224-3154?Dole (R-NC) 202-224-6342??
North Dakota?Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043?Dorgan (D-ND) 202-224-2551??
Ohio?Brown (D-OH) 202-224-2315 – Thank you to Senator Sherrod Brown for signing on as a sponsor!?Voinovich (R-OH) 202-224-3353??
Oklahoma?Coburn (R-OK) 202-224-5754?Inhofe (R-OK) 202-224-4721??
Oregon?Smith (R-OR) 202-224-3753?Wyden (D-OR) 202-224-5244??
Pennsylvania?Casey (D-PA) 202-224-6324?Specter (R-PA) 202-224-4254??
Rhode Island?Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642?Whitehouse (D-RI) 202-224-2921 Thank you to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for signing on as a sponsor!!??
South Carolina?DeMint (R-SC) 202-224-6121?Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972??
South Dakota?Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842?Thune (R-SD) 202-224-2321??
Tennessee?Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944?Corker (R-TN) 202-224-3344??
Texas?Cornyn (R-TX) 202-224-2934?Hutchison (R-TX) 202-224-5922??
Utah?Bennett (R-UT) 202-224-5444?Hatch (R-UT) 202-224-5251??
Vermont?Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-4242?Sanders (I-VT) 202-224-5141 – Thank you to Senator Bernard Sanders for signing on as a sponsor!??
Virginia?Warner (R-VA) 202-224-2023?Webb (D-VA) 202-224-4024??
Washington?Cantwell (D-WA) 202-224-3441?Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621??
West Virginia?Byrd (D-WV) 202-224-3954?Rockefeller (D-WV) 202-224-6472??
Wisconsin?Feingold (D-WI) 202-224-5323?Kohl (D-WI) 202-224-5653??
Wyoming?Barrasso (R-WY) 202-224-6441?Enzi (R-WY) 202-224-3424

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Thank you, T. for bringing this important issue to our attention so that we can be proactive. Today you not only touched our personal(emotional/spiritul/mental lives as you do daily, but you may also havehelpedsaved some physival lives, including those of children who aren’t able to advocate for themselves. There have been WAY TOO MANY (althoughONE is too many) cass of infanticide in our national news over recent years; tragedies which were UBNNECESSARY

  • Margaret Balyeat

    THANK YOU, Therese, for bringing this important issue to ur collective attntion. Today you not only touched our own emotional/spiritual/mental well-being, you may very well have helped save an innocent child or two! There have been (WAY)too many instances of infanticide due to postpartum depression)in our national news this past year–although even

  • Larry Parker

    Forget your celebrities, Brooke Shields and the like (powerful though their tales are — and horrible that they are shouted down by certain Scientologist superstars). Though I’m delighted Brooke and family are doing much better — celebrity is no barrier to illness, of course!
    Rather, I’d say you should look up the harrowing story of former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey — like something out of a horror movie. THEN you will know why this issue is so important. (And why Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez are so supportive.)
    And, like Brooke Shields, Mary Jo Codey has been publicly mocked for her honesty — in this case, by shock jock Craig Carton, who replaced Don Imus on CBS Radio in the morning. Yecch.
    With palpable — but in this case, delightful — irony, former N.J. Governor Dick Codey, her husband, was one of the nation’s leading public officials active on mental health issues long before his beloved wife became ill.
    (And when I always say Jerseyans like me are pugnacious, I mean it. Codey — AS GOVERNOR — charged into Carton’s studio while he was on the air and threatened to beat him up to defend his wife’s honor, though his bodyguards finally pulled him away. His poll ratings, of course, immediately shot through the roof …)

  • Katherine Stone

    Thank you so much for writing about this today. If your readers haven’t had a chance to call their Senators yet, I hope they will do it before the end of this week. Each call is SO important. I appreciate your support, Therese!!

  • Micheal Smith

    That was a very nice piece of information. I would definitely forward your page to a couple of friends whome i know would benefit from it. Illness doesnt make the poor suffer alone even the richest would fall prey to it.
    Micheal Smith
    Mississippi Alcohol Addiction Treatment

  • Dental Richmond

    This is a very informative post about Postpartum Depression. There are many mothers out there who are experiencing this kind of depression. At least, with the Mother’s Act, the mothers will have a protection.

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