Maternal Mental Health

Maternal mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder are the most prominent complications of pregnancy, child birth, and postpartum; affecting 1 in 5 women. According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women experience postpartum depression, and 50% of them are untreated.  

As part of AHA's Better Health for Mothers and Babies initiative, this webpage is designed to provide information, resources and best practices to better support hospitals in addressing maternal mental health. Our efforts also recognize the importance of promoting good mental health for children and adolescents. Visit our Child and Adolescent Mental Health webpage for more resources. 


Prioritizing the Mental Health of Mothers and Families

Five keys to a successful maternal mental health program

With perinatal mood and anxiety disorders the single largest complication of pregnancy and childbirth, a new AHA infographic highlights five key ways to prioritize maternal mental health based on hospitals with successful programs. The infographic pulls from learnings shared on a podcast and webinar with hospitals that have strong and innovative maternal mental health programs.


Maternal Mental Health Resources

Jul 19, 2022
Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy or childbirth-related death than White women. The health and well-being of women on their maternal journey – before, during and after childbirth are critical aspects of equitable health care.
Apr 7, 2022
According to latest data from the CDC, the U.S. maternal mortality rate, already significantly higher than in comparable countries, continues to rise, specifically for women of color.
Oct 13, 2021
Joining Aisha Syeda, program manager at the AHA is Dr. Nirmaljit Dhami, the medical director of the inpatient perinatal psychiatry at El Camino Health; and Dr. Alpa Shah, director of the Perinatal Mental Health Clinic at Marshfield Clinic Health System.
Jul 29, 2021
St. Peter’s Health, a non-profit health system in Helena, Montana, serves over 97,000 residents across five counties. The system’s Taking Care of You program connected more than 300 patients experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and their families, with community resources to support their needs.
May 21, 2021
Women are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and into the first postpartum year than at any other time in their lives, writes Margaret Howard, division director of women's behavioral health at Providence, R.I.-based Women & Infants Hospital and executive director of women’s behavioral health at Care New England. Read about how the Postpartum Depression Day Hospital at WIH provides whole health treatment to pregnant women and new mothers in a safe and nurturing environment.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one are experiencing an emotional crisis or thoughts of suicide, support is available. The following services provide free, confidential support and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For emotional support related to COVID-19, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

For those experiencing a suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.


In the News

May 26, 2022
Webinar will focus on pregnant and postpartum women and their infants. 
May 18, 2022
The mental health bill includes AHA-supported legislation that would reauthorize and expand a program that addresses maternal depression.
May 12, 2022
Speakers will share women’s mental health resources and discuss national policy and stakeholder engagement.

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