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  #1  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:01 AM
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Cactus Wren Cactus Wren is offline
 
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Default Mental health examination for new mothers?

Just got this from my sister, with a link to here:

Quote:
A sweeping government policy for all new births in the United States has just passed the House of Representatives and is now headed to the Senate. The Motherís Act, if passed, will mandate that all new mothers be screened by means of a list of subjective questions that will determine if each mother is mentally fit to take their newborn home from the hospital. Just imagine that after your child is born, you are told that you canít take them home since a multiple choice questionnaire wasnít answered correctly. Just imagine being told that the only way you can take your child home is if you or your spouse goes into treatment or on anti-depressants which we know causes psychosis, delusions, and even homicidal thoughts. It just doesnít make sense. Unfortunately, this bill is on a fast trackĖNo public debate, no public disclosure of the broad impact on our society and that is why we need you to act now!

The Motherís Act violates our Constitutional right to privacy and your right to liberty and it is just outright dangerous. That is why we need you to help stop this. We urgently need you to call and email each Senator on the HELP Committee and tell them you STRONGLY OPPOSE the MOTHERíS ACT and that you are OUTRAGED that there was NO public debate or disclosure on the impact this would have on our society as a whole.
I've found the text of the Act here, and I can't find a single thing I can interpret as requiring that "new mothers be screened ... {to} determine if each mother is mentally fit to take their newborn home". Am I just missing it?
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  #2  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:07 AM
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Jahungo Jahungo is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
Just got this from my sister, with a link to here:



I've found the text of the Act here, and I can't find a single thing I can interpret as requiring that "new mothers be screened ... {to} determine if each mother is mentally fit to take their newborn home". Am I just missing it?
Nope, I'm pretty sure that the original linking is just woefully misinterpreting the bill. Whether that misinterpretation is deliberate I can't really say, but given how far their interpretation is from the actual bill, either they are a complete moron or they are willfully misinterpreting it with some sort of purpose.

Unless I also missed something, in which case this post is going to end up looking pretty stupid.
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  #3  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:08 AM
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Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
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I don't know, but I'm for it if it means we prevent kids from going home to situations that are almost guaranteed to be abusive, and if it catches PPD and gives mothers the treatment they need.
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  #4  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:13 AM
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chillas chillas is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
I don't know, but I'm for it if it means we prevent kids from going home to situations that are almost guaranteed to be abusive, and if it catches PPD and gives mothers the treatment they need.
The bill (aka, the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act) provides research, care and counseling for postpartum depression and psychosis. There is nothing anywhere in there about requiring anyone to pass any sort of test to take their child home.

Summary
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  #5  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:15 AM
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Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
The bill (aka, the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act) provides research, care and counseling for postpartum depression and psychosis. There is nothing anywhere in there about requiring anyone to pass any sort of test to take their child home.

Summary
Yay for scanning for PPD!

As far as test, no, I didn't think it would do that, but these screens will be performed by mandated reporters, and if there's a concern that pops up, I'm sure action will be taken (which is probably what has some people up in arms).
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  #6  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:17 AM
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LizzyBean LizzyBean is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
I don't know, but I'm for it if it means we prevent kids from going home to situations that are almost guaranteed to be abusive, and if it catches PPD and gives mothers the treatment they need.
Except a lot of cases of PPD don't show up until weeks, even months later. Screening a woman who just gave birth isn't going to do a damn thing.

Besides, if (g)we are that concerned about not letting children go home to abusive situations, shouldn't we be looking in to the situation befire the mother goes in to the hospital?

And how would this be regulated? What about home births and birthing centers?
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  #7  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:21 AM
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Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
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Originally Posted by LizzyBean View Post
Except a lot of cases of PPD don't show up until weeks, even months later. Screening a woman who just gave birth isn't going to do a damn thing.
I was screened at all my kids' early pediatric appointments, and again at my 6 week check up. Apparently that's not the norm.
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  #8  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:48 AM
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queen of the caramels queen of the caramels is offline
 
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I was part of a study group for PPD in 1998 in the Uk. I had to fill out forms every 2 or 3 days from being released form the hospital until DD1 was 6 months.

I don't know what happened to the study though.
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  #9  
Old 23 April 2009, 01:49 AM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
I was screened at all my kids' early pediatric appointments, and again at my 6 week check up. Apparently that's not the norm.
Me, too. Well, my one kid's, anyway.
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  #10  
Old 23 April 2009, 04:12 AM
kia
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
I was screened at all my kids' early pediatric appointments, and again at my 6 week check up. Apparently that's not the norm.
Here you get screened when you book into hospital, so at about 14-16 weeks along. I think that's because a study showed pre-natal depression is worthy of being screened for as well. I wasn't given the same multiple choice test* on discharge after labour, but their discharge questionnaire does ask about your general mental state.

*a standardised PPD questionnaire, the name of which escapes me now.
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  #11  
Old 23 April 2009, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kia View Post

*a standardised PPD questionnaire, the name of which escapes me now.
Edinburgh Scale?

Dropbear
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  #12  
Old 23 April 2009, 04:53 AM
kia
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropbear View Post
Edinburgh Scale?

Dropbear
Yeah that is the one.
I think I remember when I first became an obstetric patient back in 2001 it was still being done on a trial basis; by the time I had my 2 year old in 2006, it was standard practice.
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  #13  
Old 23 April 2009, 02:37 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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If you ask me, a major contributing factor to PPD is sleep deprivation, and given that regular depression and sleep problems seem linked, and no one is really sure which is the cause and which is the effect, I'm sticking to my story. A good question to ask any woman who is about to have a baby, or has just had one, and is still in the hospital or birthing center, is what sort of care arrangements she has. If she has family or a close friend coming in to help for an extended time, has hired someone, or her husband has taken an extended leave from work, great. If not, and especially if she is single, and especially especially if there is another small child at home, she could use some intervention. If she refuses, that's her right, but if the US could come up with some kind of service where new mothers could get visiting help, even for a few hours a day so they could take a nap, I'll bet that's help more than 100,000 prescriptions for Prozac.

Other relevant questions would be things like do you have a washing machine and dryer, or will you go to a laundromat? (Newborns generate a lot of laundry.) Do you have a dishwasher? (Especially relevant for a bottle-feeding mother.) Nursing mothers should be asked whether they feel the baby is nursing well, and whether they have breast pumps. Does she have a car? If not, could she use someone to pick up groceries once a week for awhile?

I'm pretty sure those are the sorts of questions that would be asked, not "How often do you plan to beat the baby?"
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  #14  
Old 23 April 2009, 05:12 PM
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SplishFish SplishFish is offline
 
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My interpretation is that the bill covers 2 things:
Get funding to conduct research described in Title I
Get funding to provide support services described in Title II

I think the OP suffers from a combination of willful misinterpretation and third-hand extrapolation. I wonder if the site that posted the OP actually got their text from someone else and never compared it against the actual text of the bill. If Cactus Wren hadn't posted the link to the bill text I wouldn't have known that the OP and the bill were even related.
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  #15  
Old 23 April 2009, 06:01 PM
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LizzyBean LizzyBean is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
I was screened at all my kids' early pediatric appointments, and again at my 6 week check up. Apparently that's not the norm.
Not in my experience anyway. Of course, I lived in an area where it was thought that depression isn't "real" and I should just "get over it" and "get more sleep" and I would be fine.

I even went to the doctor at one point and told her all of my symptoms. She handed me some prozac and said "take these til you feel better."

Last edited by LizzyBean; 23 April 2009 at 06:07 PM.
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  #16  
Old 23 April 2009, 06:08 PM
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ElectricBarbarella ElectricBarbarella is offline
 
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Okay, even thought we've shown that the OP isn't true and is reactionary, my question to the reaction (had I not been shown differently) would be:

How will they handle mothers who had to receive some type of drug during child birth? While not all mothers are affected by said drugs, some do have reactions that can cause the mother to appear "out of it" and if she is asked these questions while out of it, are they going to take the drug factor into consideration? Or just assume she's like this all of the time and call her a red flag?
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  #17  
Old 23 April 2009, 06:45 PM
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Off-topic:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Other relevant questions would be things like do you have a washing machine and dryer, or will you go to a laundromat? (Newborns generate a lot of laundry.)
Perhaps my situation was different, but as the mother of twins, I found that my laundry did not change much once the beans were born. On average, I think I added two to three more loads per week when they were born that I still continue to wash. My total loads changed from two to four loads to four to six loads. Not really a "big change" in my book. Maybe based on how much every one said there would be "tons of laundry just for a newborn" I just expected there to be much more and that I would be doing loads daily. Neither of which happened.

Quote:
Does she have a car? If not, could she use someone to pick up groceries once a week for awhile?
Personal anecdote: Having twins meant that I could not shop with the beans by myself. (Have you ever seen a cart that could accomodate two carseats and a full load of groceries? No? Me either.) Having a car didn't change that fact.
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  #18  
Old 23 April 2009, 06:51 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanilla View Post
Maybe based on how much every one said there would be "tons of laundry just for a newborn" I just expected there to be much more and that I would be doing loads daily. Neither of which happened.
I only had the one, but I was surprised by this, too. And then I realized that baby clothes are little, and lots can be put in a single load.

It was when Lil was school-aged that I noticed the real increase in laundry, since she was also going through a "I must wear 15 different outfits a day" phase at the time, as well.
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  #19  
Old 23 April 2009, 06:54 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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We were told to wash the sprout's laundry in the special soap, which is expensive, and double rinse it, which also costs money, so we always did his laundry separately. If he had a diaper leak, all his stuff got washed right away-- the leaked on stuff, and anything in his hamper. So we were doing lots of laundry.

Once we could wash his stuff with our stuff, we had less laundry, or so it seemed.

When he was about three months old, we had a plumbing problem, and had no running water for a couple of days. We had to make on trip to the laundromat, both of us, and the sprout in his carseat, and it was still a pain. We even brought the wet stuff home to our own dryer to save time and quarters, and it was still a pain in the butt. If I had to do that alone, twice a week-- eek! Just the logistics of taking the laundry into the laundromat and leaving the baby in the car-- or the other way around?
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  #20  
Old 23 April 2009, 08:35 PM
Saint James Saint James is offline
 
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Best I can guess, it probably comes from a (most likely intentional) misreading of 330G-1(b)(2)

Quote:
Ď(2) Delivering or enhancing inpatient care management services that ensure the well-being of the mother and family and the future development of the infant.
Make sure the mother and child are OK??? In inpatient care??? I suppose in extreme situations that could mean not releasing them yet because they are not in healthy enough condition to leave.

We seem to see this a lot from reactionary sources - creative readings of new laws for the most terrifying and offensive possible implications (even if not really possible or even plausible) I think we need a name for these creative readings - I suggest the "WND effect" as they seem to do it a lot.
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