In 2018, Illinois passed landmark legislation recognizing postpartum mental illness as a factor in criminal cases, making postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis mitigating factors in sentencing and providing for a new sentencing hearing after a valid sentence has been imposed.

On October 20, Illinois granted parole to Paula Sims, who was serving a life sentence for killing her two daughters in the 1980s. Two experts in maternal mental health — Susan Feingold, PsyDand Diana Sanford, PhD — testified that Sims was suffering postpartum psychosis at the time of her children’s deaths.

Dr. Feingold and attorney Barry Lewis are the authors of Advocating for Women With Postpartum Mental Illness, which provides vital tools for mental health and legal professionals. Complete with case studies and the authors’ experiences in changing the law in Illinois, this book is a great resource for maternal mental health advocates.