Mild and moderate to severe perinatal depressive symptoms among new mothers are associated with the increased use of emergency rooms to treat their infants, according to Rutgers Health research. The study, published in the April issue of Health Affairs, examines the association between the severity of perinatal depression and the use of emergency departments in the first year of an infant’s life.

Perinatal mental health conditions affect up to 20 percent of pregnant or postpartum people and are associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes for the child, including increased use of a hospital’s emergency department. Using the emergency department can be costly, especially for Medicaid, which is billed for disproportionately more pediatric emergency department visits compared with private insurance. To read the full story.