Purpose: Implementation of a postpartum depression (PPD) screening while using evidence-based interventions to improve depressive symptoms, enhance breastfeeding (BF) self-efficacy, and strengthen the mother-infant dyad (MID).
Background and Significance: PPD is highly prevalent among women living in the United States and threatens the physical and psychological health of MIDs. Many of these women go undiagnosed and without treatment, further worsening symptoms and outcomes. This has inspired world healthcare leaders and organizations to address maternal mental health among postpartum women.
Methods: A 12-week evidenced-based project consisted of two-sets of participants including mothers and staff. A comprehensive maternal support program guided by an informational pamphlet (IP) and implementation of PPD screening using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale served as the two-part intervention for this project. Goals were to decrease PPD, enhance BF satisfaction, and strengthen the MID. Comprehensive maternal support encompasses interventions proven to meet the project goals and includes tailored BF education and care to maternal needs, social support by peer/family involvement, skin-to-skin contact during BF, emotion-regulation strategies, and availability of community resources.
Outcomes: The BSES-SF scores did result in statistical significance based on an alpha value of 0.10, t(3) = -2.98, p = .059, proving a positive effect was seen in breastfeeding self-efficacy post intervention. The results did not show statistical significance (t(3) = 0.60, p = .591) in regard to pre and post-depression scores. However, the mean pre-score (M =3.50, SD 3.11) did decrease post-intervention (M =2.75, SD 1.26) and exemplifies clinical significance.
Conclusion: The outcomes of this Quality-Improvement project showed improved scores for depression and BF self-efficacy post-intervention. This demonstrates the value in screening for PPD using a validated screening tool and instituting comprehensive maternal support guided by evidence-based practice in a community setting.