Postpartum Depression: Its Impact and Tools for Diagnosis

Postpartum Depression: Its Impact and Tools for Diagnosis



Madyson Alexis Maynard, Natalie R. Piraino


Presentation: 1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom

This project reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Course: MED 480



According to data gathered in 2021, postpartum depression (PPD) is one of the most common complications that affects 10-15% of mothers worldwide (Amit, 2021). It is a leading cause of maternal perinatal mortality, accounting for about 20% of postpartum deaths (Amit, 2021). Postpartum depression is simply depression that occurs after childbirth. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, depressed mood or severe mood swings, insomnia, loss of appetite, intense irritability, and difficulty bonding with the baby (Mayo Clinic, 2018). If left untreated symptoms may worsen to severe anxiety, panic attacks, thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide (Mayo Clinic, 2018). We found tools used to measure and diagnose PPD but are curious to seek why PPD remains a significant problem. The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health mentions that the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is most commonly used (Nonacs, 2008). Another tool currently being used is an online resource through Mental Health America titled “Depression Test for New and Expecting Parents.” The use of current tools helps women recognize the symptoms of PPD and helps improve the diagnosis of PPD in patients and yet “only 50% of women with prominent symptoms are diagnosed with PPD,” (El-Hachem, Charline, et al., 2014). The purpose of this poster is to learn more about PPD, how it is currently being diagnosed, and to suggest alternative ways to increase new mothers’ awareness of PPD that could lead to better diagnosis and treatment.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Marylynn B. Herchline

Primary Advisor's Department

Premedical Programs


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

Postpartum Depression: Its Impact and Tools for Diagnosis