PeriC re is an exclusive maternal fetal health initiative for teens and women of color designed to significantly remove systemic barriers and increase access to the prevention, screening, and treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Babies will be born with a greater chance at a healthier start at life and thus, eliminating the prevalence and effects of transgenerational trauma. This integrated model brings together experts in both the behavioral health field and medical field to correct the disjointed approach to pregnancy, behavioral health, trauma, and childbirth in a community setting.
PeriCare goes beyond the status quo and facilitates the conversation that is often times difficult to have ~ how expecting women of color suffer in silence after traumatic experiences. We know that perinatal diagnoses do not discriminate, systems do. When women of color silently deal with mental health issues they remain at an increased risk, transgenerational trauma is perpetuated, and their babies are ultimately at risk for early traumatic experiences. The PeriCare Initiative will change these statistics, mother by mother, as we change the lens through which this population is viewed!
All women are at risk for depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period. For many women who live in urban areas, these periods are characterized by stress, limited resources, pre-pregnancy health concerns, and traumatic experiences which may increase their risk for mental illness. In addition, these factors are associated with complications of pregnancy, neonatal admission to the NICU, depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance use disorders. Early screenings and detection of prenatal depression and anxiety can greatly decrease these behavioral health concerns from worsening. Screenings will be administered during their initial intake and every 60 days thereafter. Positive screenings are an indication that something more serious is impacting the PeriCre Mom and will result in a full assessment and collaborative treatment with her PeriCare therapist and OB/GYN or Midwife.
PeriCare Moms will receive an evidence-based trauma-informed comprehensive screening that detects:
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
For marginalized populations, the word "treatment" can indictate that there is "something wrong with". The PeriCare initiative wants to remove the stigma associated with behavioral health treatment, women of color, and trauma. Therefore, PeriCare Moms will receive PeriCare Support in the comfort of their homes, in office, and at their obstetrics or midwife visits. Scheduled visits may be once a week or tailored to the needs of the PeriCare Mom. This time will be used to collaboratively develop treatment plans, provide evidenced-based therapies, identify and connect vetted resources, collaboratively develop birthing plans, and address additional needs of the PeriCare mother and baby. In addition, PeriCare mothers will learn how to become their biggest advocates!
PeriCare Moms will receive:
One to one PeriCare Support by a Licensed Clinician who is trauma-informed
24/7 Access to the PeriCare Support Team
Weekly PeriCare appointment
Bi-weekly PeriCare Mom Empowerment Group
Linkage to community resources
Welcome gifts such as diapers, diaper bags, playpens
Birthing plans are essential to the PeriCare program. We have worked with many expecting girls and women survivors who refused to have internal examinations as a result of fear and panic related to past trauma. This caused significant prenatal problems for both the mother and child. In addition, their obstetrician or midwife were never aware of the mother's history which lead to their refusal to be examined. The Birthing Plan is a safe collaborative way to communicate assessment concerns, past history of trauma, and the mother's concerns and wishes about her pregnancy and birthing experiences. In addition, it eliminates the daunting task of the mother having to repeat this information multiple times to her obstetrician, maternal fetal specialist, midwife, and additional treatment providers.
PeriCare Moms will receive birthing plans that includes:
Summary of trauma experience
Behavioral health and medical implications