Why We Address Maternal Mental Health

Maternal mental health disorders, also known as perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADS), occur on a spectrum ranging from the baby blues to psychosis during pregnancy, birth, and one year postpartum. PMADS, affect as many as 1 in 7 people during pregnancy and postpartum. Diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety are less frequent in pregnant and postpartum people than in the general population due to limited resources for patients, lack of provider training, time constraints, and low access to mental health consultations. PMADs have short-term and long-term effects on the parent and child, including lower breastfeeding rates, a higher risk of preterm birth, impaired maternal-child bonding, and impaired childhood cognitive and emotional development. Despite multidisciplinary recommendations for systematic PMAD screening and readily available and validated screening tools, PMAD screening, diagnosis, and treatment rates remain low.

What We Do

Through cross-sector partnerships, we work alongside communities to identify unique strategies to address maternal mental health concerns and support statewide collective impact approaches to advancing maternal mental health needs in Colorado. Our clinical quality improvement programs address urgent maternal mental health concerns during inpatient labor and delivery unit stays.

New mom holding her temple while rocking baby after pumping

Substance use and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are closely tied. CO AIM: SUD screens and identifies high-risk patients for substance use and mental health disorders and ensures they receive intervention, referral to treatment, and high-quality care that is customized to their unique needs during labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum.

Through our FIRST program, pregnant and postpartum people from diverse backgrounds share their experiences and advice to help inform how we care for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and guide quality improvement across hospital systems and community-based care.

IMPACT BH brings together hospitals, primary healthcare services, and community-based organizations to provide wrap-around support and care navigation to pregnant and postpartum people and their families. 

The Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative is a central source for Coloradans to effectively collaborate, impact action, and accelerate progress toward improved mental health and wellness of all pregnant and postpartum people in our state. The Collaborative’s work is grounded in the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Framework.

Parents Thrive is an online tool and project of the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative designed to help new and expecting parents find resources and relatable stories to support their emotional wellbeing, including curated blogs and resources specifically for new and expecting parents impacted by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Maternal Mental Health Resources

Events

Get Involved

Help us improve maternal and infant health outcomes for all Colorado families. There are multiple ways to get involved: participate in a program, become a community advocate, attend an event, or share your story. Whether you are an individual, healthcare facility, community-based organization, or industry leader, there’s space for you in our work.