Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Practice Recommendations


Type of Evidence


1.1 Routinely screen for risk of perinatal depression, using a valid screening tool, as part of prenatal and postpartum care.   

Ia, IV, V

1.2 Conduct or facilitate access to a comprehensive perinatal depression assessment with persons who screen positive for perinatal depression.

IIb, IV, V



2.1 Collaborate with the person to develop a comprehensive person-centred plan of care, including goals, for those with a positive screen or assessment for perinatal depression. 

Ia, Ib, IV

2.2 Implement prevention or early intervention strategies for perinatal depression symptoms to reduce the risk of illness progression.  

Ia, Ib, IIb

2.3 Promote self-care strategies for  persons at risk for or experiencing perinatal depressive including:

  • time for self; 
  • exercise; 
  • relaxation; and
  • sleep.  
Ia, Ib, IV

2.4 Encourage persons with perinatal depression symptoms to seek support from partner, family members, social networks and peers, where applicable.  

Ia, Ib, IV

2.5 Provide or facilitate access to psychoeducational interventions to persons at risk for or experiencing perinatal depression.  


2.6 Provide or facilitate access to professionally-led psychosocial interventions, including non-directive counseling, for persons with perinatal depression.


2.7 Provide or facilitate access to psycholotherapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or interpersonal therapy, for perinatal depression.

Ia, Ib

2.8 Support informed decision-making and advocate for access to pharmacological interventions for perinatal depression, as appropriate. Ia, Ib

2.9 Facilitate informed decision-making regarding the use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies for perinatal depression.  


2.10 Evaluate and revise a plan of care, in collaboration with the person, until goals are met. Include the person’s partner, family and support network, where applicable. V
Women and Children
Assessment and Interventions Perinatal Depression
Practice Recommendations