Reducing Post-Partum Depression Through Peer Support Interventions


Mary Korth

Faculty Mentor(s)

Tishra Beeson (Physical Education, School & Public Health)


Mary Korth
Reducing Post-Partum Depression through Peer Support Interventions
Post-partum depression occurs in 7-20% of pregnant women in the United States (Patel et. Al, 2012). Many mothers experience depression for the first time while pregnant (APA, 2008). Mothers who experience post-partum depression are 60% more likely to experience it again in subsequent pregnancies (Patel et. Al, 2012). Post-partum depression disproportionately impacts mothers of low socio-economic status, with mothers in poverty experiencing post-partum depression 2-4 times more often than their peers (Hansotte et. Al, 2017).
A literature review was conducted to determine whether peer support interventions are effective tools in managing post-partum depression. It was found that while peer support interventions are effective, there are a variety of barriers that prevent mothers from engaging in peer support, especially for mothers of low socioeconomic status. It was found that utilizing multiple formats for peer support including home visits, internet, and text-based support is crucial to providing access to care for mothers in this digital age.
Many barriers to treatment were noted, including lack of medical insurance coverage, and competing priorities, particularly for mothers of low socioeconomic status. Many mothers cannot prioritize post-partum medical visits due to needing to return to work as soon as possible to maintain adequate housing and necessities such as food and electricity.
Recommendations to improve care for mothers include expanding Medicaid coverage to cover mothers for at least 1-year post-partum and screening for post-partum depression at WIC offices and DSHS to help identify mothers needing additional support.
Works Cited

Hansotte, E., Payne, S. I., & Babich, S. M. (2017). Positive postpartum depression screening practices and subsequent mental health treatment for low-income women in Western countries: A systematic literature review. Public Health Reviews, 38(1). doi:10.1186/s40985-017-0050-y
Patel, M., Bailey, R. K., Jabeen, S., Ali, S., Barker, N. C., & Osiezagha, K. (2012). Postpartum Depression: A Review. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 23(2), 534-542. doi:10.1353/hpu.2012.0037
Postpartum depression. (2008). Retrieved October 31, 2020, from

Keywords: Post-Partum Depression
Peer support


3 thoughts on “Reducing Post-Partum Depression Through Peer Support Interventions”

  1. Mary,
    You did a great job of briefly covering PPD and the barriers that come with identifying and treating PPD. I have never heard of ROSE/REACH, is this a nation wide program? Is it offered in rural areas? Is there any evidence of effective homeopathic treatments?

  2. Hi Laura, the ROSE and REACH programs are study-based interventions that have been tested in low-income community settings, however they are not widely available outside of the San Fransisco area yet. There is currently an NIH-funded study being conducted to look at the sustainability of the program. Interested clinics can reach the study coordinators via this link:
    I am unaware of any studied homeopathic treatments for PPD at this time.

  3. Hi Mary!
    Do you have any ideas on how to reach those in rural areas or with limited/no access to the internet or cell service? Your presentation topic is so important- always has been and continues to be. You did great to focus on important symptoms, statistics, and linking PPD to public health. I wonder if it would make the presentation flow better if you started with your background and research data/methods before moving straight into your hypothesis. Also, on slide 8, one suggestion to consider is making that study the main bullet point, following by indented bullet points as notes about that same study. That way it is easier to follow that all of those bullet points are talking about the same study, and you won’t have to cite it on each bullet. You picked a great topic to research and I bet you found a wealth of information about peer support for postpartum depression, despite most areas lacking actual, tangible resources.

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