Achieving Mental Wellness for New Mothers

Lancaster General Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) provides long-term, in-home care to a high-risk population. A Fall 2015 Community Grant Recipient, NFP adopted the Moving Beyond Depression initiative to serve area mothers.

According to the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), 10 to 20 percent of women experience depression during pregnancy or in the first 12 months postpartum. Moreover, depressed mothers are 3.4 times more likely to deliver prematurely; four times more likely to deliver a low birth-weight baby; and more likely to experience obstetrical complications during birth. Depressed mothers often struggle to provide appropriate care to their child. She has difficulty forming an emotional and physical attachment to her child.

Since 2002, Moving Beyond Depression has served mothers and their children. Developed by researchers at Every Child Succeeds and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, it is an evidence-based treatment program designed to improve and sustain the mental and behavioral health of expecting and postpartum mothers. Each enrollee receives week treatment sessions by a licensed mental health clinician. By helping mothers overcome depression, they can begin to provide nurturing care to their children.

In fact, during a recent clinical trial, mothers reported experiencing increased social support and decreased depressive symptoms.

“I have seen my patient using the techniques learned from Moving Beyond Depression to help her move forward in entering school, getting a job, smiling and engaging with her baby more and just an overall feeling of improved wellbeing,” said a NFP nurse.

To learn more about the program, please visit