Perinatal Mood Disorders... 

...are more common than people realize.

Perinatal mood disorders, more commonly referred to as postpartum depression or PMD, describes a maternal mood disorder that occurs in 15 percent to 20 percent of new mothers anytime during the first year after childbirth.

In some cases, the disorder appears in prenatal women. It is the most common complication of childbirth, affecting over 400,000 mothers every year in the United States alone. One of every eight new mothers is stricken with postpartum depression; many more may go unrecognized or untreated.

Why develop a Perinatal Mood Disorders Program?

• Evidence shows that screening, identification, referral and treatment will prevent the consequences of perinatal mood disorders.
• Federal laws may mandate education, screening and treatment in the near future.
• Program supports best practice standards created by professional medical organizations for perinatal mood disorders.
• Swift intervention reduces the length and amount of suffering.
• It is the right thing to do.

Who benefits from this program development toolkit?

Various health and social service organizations can benefit from the valuable information provided in this toolkit. Examples include hospitals, health departments, health care providers, behavioral health organizations, insurance providers, health educators and others.

How will this toolkit help to develop your program?

Using this toolkit can help prepare staff, garner financial and resource support, and design your own program. This step-by-step approach will help you work through the following key steps:

1. Create a PMD advisory team
2. Train staff
3. Begin screening
4. Establish follow-up protocols
5. Develop a PMD referral team
6. Implement support groups and services
7. Launch a telephone support and information line
8. Create a program evaluation process

Toolkit users have shared these experiences about using this resource to launch their PMD program:

• "The Program Development Toolkit for Perinatal Mood Disorders is wonderful! Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Spend more of your time providing valuable services for the families you serve. Without it, we would still be in the planning process."
A Michigan hospital OB/Pediatric nurse educator
• "This toolkit is an essential, well-organized resource which has helped pave the way for our success."
A PMD coalition leader

What is included in the toolkit?


This comprehensive toolkit, edited by an OB/GYN physician and an EdD nursing professor, includes:

• Introduction includes an overview and how to use the toolkit
• Program development provides information on goal setting, needs assessment, team development, garnering support, marketing and cultural competence
• Program components include education, referral team, phone information line, support group, inpatient risk assessment, screening, evaluation, research and statistics
• Resources consist of best practice models and reference materials such as books, video, and web site listings


• Flash drive of all documents and PowerPoint presentations
• Four books on PMD disorders and support network development authored by nationally recognized PMD experts
• Three DVD educational presentations
• Postpartum Support International sample materials
• Spectrum Health sample materials

To Order the Toolkit

The Program Development Toolkit for Perinatal Mood Disorders is available for $425 each (plus tax for buyers from Michigan). To place your order, complete and mail this order form with payment as instructed OR you may submit your order online.

Clinical Team

About the Author and PMD Consulting Services

Nancy Roberts, RN, CCE, CBC, has been an obstetrical nurse since 1979 and the Program Coordinator of the Postpartum Emotional Support Program at Spectrum Health since 1993. Approximately 7,500 births take place each year at Spectrum Health Hospitals Butterworth Hospital. She has shared her PMD expertise with numerous organizations across the country and is available to provide consultation services by phone, conference calls, teleconferencing, site visits and through educational seminars.

Contact Information

For information about consulting services, contact:
Nancy Roberts, RN, CCE, CBC
Program Coordinator
Spectrum Health Postpartum Emotional Support Program
616.391.2561 or 616.391.5000

Women who may experience a perinatal mood disorder should always be under the care and direction of a physician for appropriate monitoring and treatment, and nothing in this toolkit is intended to take the place of a physician's medical advice. The Program Development Toolkit for Perinatal Mood Disorders is a guide only, intended to assist you in your development of an appropriate postpartum emotional support program, tailored to your particular expertise and community need.