The Tremont Neighborhood Health Action will hold a free event in the South Bronx on April 10 to help families who would like advice and conversation about welcoming a baby. This will focus on helping families care for the infant and care for themselves.

The event is part of a new citywide campaign designed to help families navigate life with a newborn.

The “fourth trimester,” the name given by health care professionals to the first year with a newborn, is a time when many parents can feel overwhelmed, and new mothers in particular can struggle. During that period, over 80% of women can be prone to rapid changes in mood. Most mothers frequently feel “baby blues” and some occasionally feel suicidal.

In between these extremes, one in seven women suffer from postpartum depression, a serious but very treatable condition. Studies show that partners, both male and female; grandparents and even adoptive parents are also subject to these mood swings.

Forty-six states, including New York, have recently passed legislation authorizing Medicaid coverage during the fourth trimester and beyond. In signing the bill for New York, State Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), who chairs the Health Committee, acknowledged the normal risks that adults experience during a child’s first year. The bill “will undoubtedly help build on our efforts to address our sState’s alarming rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, primarily among Black and immigrant women,” he said.

The Tremont event in April is part of a weekly series focused on the needs of pregnant women. It is funded by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Center on Health Equity and Community Wellness.

Postpartum depression, besides affecting the mood of a mom and her family, can also interfere with parents’ eating, sleeping, and connecting to the baby and others, studies have shown. It can also sap parents of their overall energy and general hopefulness.

Many are afraid to acknowledge the symptoms to themselves or to others, out of fear or shame, according to a 2011 study on disparities in postpartum depression care.  Research studies routinely state that Black and Latinx women are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression than white women. And among Black and Latinx women, few make use of services, and the overall impact on the community can be pervasive, research shows.

A 2022 study on maternal mortality in New York found that in 46% of pregnancy-related deaths, discrimination was identified as a probable or definitive circumstances surrounding the death.

Organizers of the Bronx event on April 10 hope their outreach will change those statistics for future families.


Have you heard of the fourth trimester? We want to know more about your life as a new parent or as the family of a new parent. Click HERE if you would like to share your experience with us. Please include name, phone number and email.

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