One in five women will experience a behavioral health need in her lifetime, and pregnant and postpartum women are less likely to be appropriately screened and receive treatment for mental health concerns.

Stigma, under-treatment, inadequate referral mechanisms and lack of treatment capacity have stymied prevention efforts. ACOG supports improved, culturally appropriate treatment capacity for perinatal mental health and substance use disorders.

Our Position

At the federal level, ACOG continues to call for a comprehensive federal commitment to combating perinatal depression through research, public and provider education, and grants to states and public and nonprofit private entities to innovate and increase screening and treatment capacity.

At the state level, ACOG supports strategies -- like the successful Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program for Moms (MCPAP) -- to improve identification and treatment of women with and at risk for perinatal depression.

ACOG also supports:

  • Measures that improve systems capacity to ensure statewide and timely access to screening and treatment including postpartum home visiting
  • Increased use of tele-behavioral health services especially in rural and medically underserved areas
  • Elimination of patient and provider barriers including lack of coverage and reimbursement