Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-17-2021

Submission Type

DNP Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program


School of Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Manjulata Evatt DNP, MSN, RN, CMSRN


Postpartum depression, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, "baby blues"


Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is defined as physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that occur after the birth of a child. Postpartum depression is complex and a mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes (Cleveland Medical Clinic, 2018). Postpartum depression screening is of high importance at a comprehensive postpartum visit. The consequences of a patient suffering postpartum depression can be serious and early recognition and interventions improve outcomes for the patient as well as the infant. Problem: There is a lack of screening for PPD among postpartum clients and this period is critical for the mother and the infant (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [ACOG], 2021). Postpartum depression is physical, emotional, and behavioral and often underdiagnosed as new mothers think their feelings are normal (Moraes et al., 2017). Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project is to improve and maintain the consistency of screening postpartum clients for early detection of PPD, and to provide appropriate referrals and continued follow-up care coordination initiatives to improve patient outcomes. Setting: This project took place in a private practice of obstetricians and gynecologists in central Georgia. Initial screening will be done at 2-4 weeks postpartum using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Screen (EPDS). Additional follow up will occur at 6-weeks postpartum. Results: The results revealed increased screening rates in 2021 and patients who were positive for PPD had better compliance and treatment rates compared to 2020. Conclusion: Successful postpartum screening programs are comprised of clinical pathways that screens postpartum patients at 2-weeks and 6-weeks postpartum for correct diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression.

Keywords: Postpartum depression, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, "baby blues"