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SSM Health Medical Minute – Screening pregnant women for depression

ST. LOUIS - The recent double murder-suicide in a south St. Louis neighborhood has drawn local attention to the subject of postpartum depression. One local OB/GYN has implemented a screening at the first prenatal visit to identify expecting moms who may be at risk for depression and anxiety. Dr. Katherine Mathews, SLUCare OB/GYN at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, runs a dedicated clinic for pregnant women who screen positive for depression.

At St. Mary’s Hospital, all moms are screen at their first prenatal visit. Women who test positive or have a history of depression, anxiety or other disorders are referred to the clinic for care during pregnancy. Dr. Mathews says the screening helps the OB/GYNs to be attentive to the risk and allows their patients to remove the pressure not to talk about it. Her clinic offers help and supports the home environment which allows women to open up before delivery.

Dr. Katherine Mathews has clinical expertise in cancer screening and prevention, teen sexual health, and women’s health in minority and underserved populations. She is interested in research that investigates the improvement of health care for minority and medically underserved groups. She is also interested in community-based participatory research and trans-disciplinary research.

SSM Health also operates a MOMS Line for women experiencing postpartum depression or “baby blues." Call 314-768-8570.

To learn more about Post Partum Depression and the services offered, click here.