A new House bill is urging federal health agencies to expand research into postpartum depression.
The measure cites studies that up to 80 percent of new mothers experience "baby blues," characterized by mood swings, feelings of being overwhelmed and irritability. And it says more serious postpartum mood and anxiety disorders impair between 10 and 20 percent of new mothers.
The most serious problem is postpartum psychosis, which strikes one in 1,000 new mothers. It may entail losing touch with reality, delusions, auditory hallucinations, paranoia and hyperactivity.
The measure, which passed 382-3, also includes a Republican-backed provision that approves a federal study into the psychological consequences of abortions.
The compromise bill, which now goes to the Senate, authorizes 3 million dollars in spending.