Putting Maternal Mental Health Needs on the Map: Plum Organics and the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health Launch Maternal Mental Health Campaign

Leading baby food company teams up with policy think tank and thought leader for first-of-its-kind national map and “Pin”-tition to shed light on maternal mental health care in the U.S.

FRESNO, Calif., May 10, 2023 – This Maternal Mental Health Month, it’s clear that moms across the U.S. are looking for a support network when it comes to maternal mental health struggles. However, these resources are few and far between for many. Plum Organics – a leading organic baby food brand, and the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health – a policy think tank and thought leader for Maternal Mental Health issues – have partnered to develop a first-of-its-kind map to shed light on the major gaps in the maternal mental health care provider workforce. The objective of the map is to illustrate where in the U.S. mothers are at the greatest risk for suffering from maternal mental health disorders and where the greatest need for providers and community-based organizations are.

The map is the first of its kind in the U.S. to track maternal mental health providers and community-based organizations by county, and overlay the perinatal population and its risk factors for maternal mental health disorders. The interactive map, created by Plum and the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health has uncovered an immense need for more moms to have access to a “village” of both perinatal maternal mental health providers, as outlined in the map, as well as an overall community and support system for moms to show that they are not alone in their struggles.

“As a brand, we understand that it takes a village not only to raise a family, but also to make sure that moms are able to take care of themselves, and we want moms to know that we’re there for them every step of the way – through the good and the bad,” said Amanda Key, Brand Manager at Plum Organics. “This map, along with our partnership with the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health, is the first step toward highlighting the resource gaps and immense need for a “village,” so that we can all move toward action.”

More than 600,000 mothers will suffer from a maternal mental health disorder in the U.S. every year.1 Untreated maternal mental health disorders can have devastating impacts on not only a mother’s health and ability to function, but on their baby’s health and development, and overall family stability. Both organizations are striving to continue efforts to destigmatize mental health challenges for moms, sharing concrete data to show the need to drastically improve the current state of maternal mental health support across the country.

Key highlights are as follows2:

● Moms most in need are concentrated in the ‘Deep’ South, Appalachia and Southwest. Severe conditions were identified in the Mississippi Delta region, the Gulf Coast, greater Appalachia, and New Mexico & Arizona. Common themes present in all of these areas surround poverty, social instability, and isolation.

● Higher risk factor score levels tend to be associated with rural and less populated regions, while most major metropolitan areas tend to have comparatively moderate to lower risk factor scores.

● Key areas of focus for providers should include combating social isolation, fostering economic development and increasing educational opportunities for mothers. 

● A small number of cities, regions, and states, including Minnesota, the Atlanta Metropolitan region, and the Northeast Corridor exhibit relatively low risk factor scores and may serve well as models.

In response to these findings, Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health and Plum were inspired to create a “Pin”-tition, to allow mothers, families and other advocates to take action and drop a pin in the map where they want to see more access to maternal mental health resources. By dropping a pin, even in an area where risk factors seem to be lessened, it sheds light and much-needed recognition on specific areas where moms need resources and aid, and ultimately driving visibility and change to help a mother in need.

“Even in today’s world of increasing mental health awareness, mothers frequently feel alone and without a village of support. With the help and partnership of Plum Organics, we executed this ground-breaking research to identify gaps and solutions to build this very village,” said Joy Burkhard, Executive Director of the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health. She continued, “The map, along with the “Pin”-tition, paints an important picture of need that government, insurers, employers and advocates should all be positioned to take action around.”

The map, along with the “Pin”-tition, can be found at the Plum Organics and the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health’s websites. Join us on social media by using hashtags #MMHMap and #Pintition4Moms to raise awareness of the map and “Pin”-tition. 

About Plum Organics

Plum Organics is a leading organic baby food brand with the mission of getting little ones the very best food from the very first bite. Recognized for unique, culinary-inspired recipes, Plum believes introducing a wide variety of nutritious foods from the beginning can impact babies’ palates and preferences towards healthy foods for life. Plum offers a complete line of premium organic baby food, toddler and kids snack products. As a brand by parents, for parents, #PlumMakesItEasy. For more information, visit www.plumorganics.com and follow @PlumOrganics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health

The Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (the “Policy Center”) is working to prevent the suffering of mothers, babies, and families associated with untreated maternal mental health disorders, like postpartum depression. The Policy Center has driven the national conversation from one centered around raising awareness of one disorder, postpartum depression, to building a movement to address maternal mental health. The organization’s work centers around closing gaps in the healthcare system by scaling change through the identification of evidence-based and emerging solutions, cross-sector collaboration, and advancing legislative and regulatory policy solutions. For more information, visit www.PolicyCenterMMH.org and follow @PolicyCenterMMH on LinkedIn and Twitter.