Maternal Health Hotline just a call or text away for new moms during and after pregnancy

The new Maternal Mental Health Hotline is tackling one of the toughest challenges women face during pregnancy or postpartum.

Christie Ileto Image
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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A new resource is helping pregnant women and new moms in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new resource is helping pregnant women and new moms in Philadelphia.

It's just a call or text away before, during, or after pregnancy.

The new Maternal Mental Health Hotline is tackling one of the toughest challenges women face during pregnancy or postpartum.

The federal program launched in May. When someone calls, they can expect a trained expert on the other end - from a nurse or a doctor to a doula or trained crisis worker.

"They are trained to recognize an acute problem. If something needs immediate attention, for example, they can send a mobile crisis team out," said Dr. Ala Stanford, Regional Director of Region 3 U.S Health & Human Services.

Stanford, a pediatric surgeon known for founding the Black Doctor's COVID Consortium during the beginning of the pandemic, says maternal death is exponentially higher in the U.S. compared to other developed nations.

"Specifically in Philadelphia, African American women represent 43 percent of the births, but 73 percent of the deaths; and some of them are related to depression and suicide," she said. "So the hotline is just one attempt in a complex problem to reduce the rate of disease in deaths."

Because the hotline is so new, officials wouldn't say the number of calls they've received since going live, but add the hotline has been incredibly busy... a clear indicator this is needed.

Call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS for the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline.