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Ascend opens post-partum depression treatment program

February 7, 2011
by News release
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Portland, Ore. — Ascend Health Corp., a provider of behavioral healthcare services, has announced the opening of the Mother-Infant Outpatient Program through Cedar Hills Hospital. The program is the first in the Pacific Northwest region where new mothers can receive treatment with their children in a safe, caring and convenient setting.

Currently, no postpartum depression treatment program exists in the Pacific Northwest that brings the mother and infant together during the mother's treatment, a method shown to improve outcomes.

To meet the need for this specialized treatment, Cedar Hills Hospital (a facility of Ascend Health) developed the Mother-Infant Program in partnership with the Wildwood Psychiatric Resource Center, a premier treatment program.

"Removing the baby from the mother only deepens the depression for the mother and worsens the disease," says Nicole Harrington Cirino, MD, Medical Director for the Mother-Infant Program at Cedar Hills Hospital. "The new Mother-Infant program alleviates that problem with a very new approach that builds upon the natural bond between the mother and child."

The program addresses the mental health of new mothers and infants at the beginning of their lifelong relationship. Cedar Hills Hospital uses an evidence-based approach to treat peri-partum mood disorders. Located in Beaverton, Ore., the Mother-Infant Program is part of Cedar Hills Hospital's Outpatient Center.

Patients and their infant can be referred to the program by medical practitioners, community professionals, or by self-referral.

The Mother-Infant Outpatient Program services include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression;
  • Medication assessment;
  • Interpersonal therapy for relationship issues;
  • Couples and family therapy;
  • Mindfulness training and emotional regulation;
  • Insight-oriented psychotherapy;
  • Infant care instruction including assistance with lactation, sleep, and colic;
  • Infant massage and other techniques for mother-child bonding; and,
  • Onsite child care for infants less than one year of age.

Postpartum depression is a serious illness that affects one in ten new mothers in the United States. Its risk factors for new mothers include prior history of post-partum depression, bipolar disorder, a difficult labor or delivery, and/or a previous depression episode.

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