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Perinatal Mental Illness is Very Common. How Can It Be Improved?

A Health Podyssey

Perinatal Mental Illness is Very Common. How Can It Be Improved?

Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief, Alan Weil, interview Jennifer Moore, founding executive director of the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, on perinatal mental health, what we know about it, and what…
October 12, 2021

Perinatal Mental Illness is Very Common. How Can It Be Improved?

Mental health conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders are diagnosed in one of every five pregnant or postpartum people. Despite this high burden of morbidity and mortality and economic costs, perinatal mental illness is poorly addressed by the current US healthcare system.

Jennifer Moore, founding executive director of the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, joins A Health Podyssey to discuss perinatal mental health and what we know about it. Moore was the advisor for the October issue of Health Affairs, which collects a number of articles all on perinatal mental health.

Those papers discuss several dimensions of the issue, including the health and economic costs of poor perinatal mental health; the relationship between mental health and physical health; and the role of race and racism and how the US approaches mental illness among birthing people.

In the issue, Moore co-authored two papers. In the overview, she and colleagues explore policy opportunities to improve the treatment of perinatal mental health conditions. In another paper, Moore and coauthors found that mental health conditions increase severe maternal morbidity by 50% and cost $102 million annually in the US.

Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief, Alan Weil, interview Jennifer Moore on perinatal mental health and what policy option exist to improve it.

If you like this interview, order the October Perinatal Mental Health Theme Issue.

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