Ribbon cutting held May 4th marked first hospital program dedicated to treating postpartum depression and anxiety

LONG BRANCH, NJ – One in seven women may be affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). Although temporary and treatable, it is the most common complication of childbirth with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. For this reason, on May 4, 2017, Monmouth Medical Center hosted the grand opening of its Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders making it the first and only hospital in New Jersey to offer a dedicated treatment Center where new and expectant mothers can receive comprehensive care for PMAD.

Initially formed as a support group in 2011, Monmouth Medical Center established a designated Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder program in 2015 which lead to the development of a dedicated Center this year. Since its inception, the program has screened more than 800 women and has treated more than 500 patients from all over New Jersey and bordering states including New York. The Center’s wide patient reach is attributed to the great need and severe lack of services available to treat PMAD in New Jersey as well as other states.

With much help and support from Mary Jo Codey, New Jersey became the first state in 2006 to enact a law that every new mom must be screened for PMAD prior to leaving the hospital after giving birth.

“This Center was formed to let our patients know that our commitment to them and their families doesn’t stop with the delivery. We know that for many woman adjusting to the birth of their baby can be challenging, but we want women to know that they aren’t alone and that there is help,” said Lisa Tremayne, Director, Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Monmouth Medical Center. “We know that the best treatment is delivered through a combination of approaches which is why we offer individual therapy, medication and support group services and tailor each woman’s treatment plan to meet her unique needs. We want women to know that the sooner you contact us for help, the sooner you will start to feel better.”

The Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders offers free group support as well as evidence-based psychotherapy. Patients are supported by a multidisciplinary team of experts including psychiatry, nursing and social work and all the Center’s clinicians are certified by Postpartum Support International. “The creation of the center is the result of a pressing need for services available to treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, and is part of our continuum of care for expectant and new moms and babies that rivals any hospital in the nation,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling.

“After childbirth, estrogen and progesterone hormone levels quickly drop in a woman’s body leading to chemical changes in her brain that may trigger mood swings and feelings of depression and anxiety,” said Robert Graebe, MD, FACOG, Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Monmouth Medical Center. “Many new mothers are unable to get the rest they need to fully recover from giving birth. This constant sleep deprivation can lead to physical discomfort and exhaustion which can contribute to the severity of PMAD. It’s important for women to know that this is very common and not their fault. It is equally important that they receive the proper care so they can get better.”

Monmouth Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the center are currently engaged in a multinational study for the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. The mental and physical health of new and expecting mothers is a top priority for Monmouth Medical Center which offers a 24-hour crisis hotline staffed by mental health screeners. Additional program services include: weekly peer-to-peer support groups, individual talk therapy and interpersonal therapy, medication evaluation and management, group therapy, phone follow-up program, closed private Facebook page that serves as an additional peer support for moms in the program, mom mentor program, mother-infant bonding classes/sessions, and more.

The grand opening was held at Maysie Strook Pavilion at Pavilion and Second Avenue in Long Branch on Thursday, May 4th at 1:00p.m.

For more information on Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Monmouth Medical Center and services offered, visit www.Barnabashealth.org/mmcppd. For a physician referral, call 1-888-MD-RWJUH.