Pine Rest's planned mother-baby program for postpartum depression brings jobs to West Michigan

A groundbreaking new program for treating postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders is on the drawing board at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services (300 68th St. SE, Grand Rapids).
The proposed Mother-Baby Partial Hospitalization Program, one of three in the U.S., will treat new mothers and pregnant women for postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders while allowing the mother to bring her baby with her so mother-baby bonding can continue.
The program has created three full-time-equivalent positions that include one full-time therapist position, a full-time nursery attendant position, and a position that combines the hours of a part-time therapist, a nurse and a recreational therapist.
"Patients will come in the morning, receive treatment all day and then go home at night," says Gretchen Johnson, clinical services manager. "You have to be well enough to function at home, but the goal is to get patients into this program before they're so sick they won't be able to be at home anymore. Many women often don't understand what's going on until they're so sick they really need to go into a hospital, and that's traumatic because they have to leave their baby home."
Besides getting mental health therapy, the patients will receive expert help with medications, help with bonding with their baby, practice in calming cranky babies, and support from other women experiencing the same issues.
"So many women say they missed the whole first year of their baby's life because they were so depressed they couldn't function," Johnson says. "We want to help them avoid all this and to help them learn how to enjoy their baby."
The Mother-Baby Partial Hospitalization Program begins this fall.
For more information on jobs at Pine Rest, click here.
Source: Gretchen Johnson, Pine Rest
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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