Woman’s Hospital will open a new inpatient mental health unit for moms

Woman’s Hospital will open Louisiana’s first inpatient mental health unit dedicated to serving pregnant and postpartum women, hospital officials announced this morning.

Maternal mental health conditions are a leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S. and affect one in five women, yet those conditions go untreated 75% of the time, Woman’s says.

“A perinatal mental health unit at Woman’s Hospital will be designed to address these issues as we strive to move the needle on maternal health and mortality rates,” Cheri Barker Johnson, Woman’s senior vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer, says in a prepared announcement.

The planned 10-bed unit, which officials say will be one of “several” of its kind nationwide, is scheduled to open next September.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anxiety, perinatal and postpartum depression, and birth-related PTSD are among the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

“As the largest provider of maternity care for women in Louisiana, it’s our responsibility to address all aspects of perinatal health,” says Rene Ragas, president and CEO of Woman’s.

This story originally appeared in a Sept. 18 news alert from Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.