Yale New Haven Health program for new and expecting moms expands

A third location for the Maternal Wellness Program will open soon.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A life-saving program helping new and expecting moms is now expanding.

The Maternal Wellness Program, run by Yale New Haven Health, was created two years ago when doctors noticed there were a lot of women struggling with mood or anxiety disorders after or before having a baby. But, their needs weren’t being met in the community.

“Actually one in seven women wind up having some type of mood or anxiety disorder after pregnancy. And I don’t think that people understand how common this is,” said Maria Mackeil, director of Women’s Specialties at Yale New Haven Health.

Even providers at Yale noticed the problem. 

“We were hearing from our providers, our OB providers, that they had patients who were experiencing signs and symptoms of depression or mood and anxiety disorders, and they had nowhere to send them,” Mackeil said.

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So, they created the Maternal Wellness Program, providing therapy for new and expecting moms.

There are currently two locations – an office on Boston Post Rd. in Orange, and another on Long Wharf Dr. in New Haven. In a couple of weeks from now, a third location will open on Howard Ave in New Haven, right across from the hospital. They’re also adding another social worker.

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The expansion is welcome news for their first client, Tina Lopez, who said the program changed her life. She lost her baby boy, Lucas, two years ago. He died two days after he was born. A week later, she was introduced to the Maternal Wellness Program. 

“I was healing, physically. But emotionally, it just, I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” Lopez said. “I was waking up every day, crying literally the entire day, for days on end. And I just didn’t know how to function.”

Lopez is still involved in the program and has come a long way within the last two years. 

“Now, I am pregnant…and that alone was a journey,” Lopez said

RELATED: Pregnancy-related deaths among Black women nearly triple of white women in 2020

Now, more women like Lopez can get help with the program expanding Anyone who is pregnant or has had a baby within the last year can call with questions. They do accept most insurances and Medicaid.

For more information on the Maternal Wellness Program, click here.

Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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