Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD)
Contacts and Resources
- Perinatal Mental Health Support
- Depression or Anxiety During and After Pregnancy
- Support for BIPOC Parents
- Support for LGBTQ+ Parents
Information for Parents and Caregivers
Information for Health Care Providers
Information for Public Health
Perinatal Mental Health - Information for Parents and Caregivers
Screening for postpartum depression and anxiety is one way for your healthcare provider to find out more information about how you have been feeling and coping during and after pregnancy. If you screen positive for postpartum depression or anxiety, your healthcare provider may recommend and refer you to treatment to help you get the help you need.
Take the time to learn about what to expect when you are screened for postpartum depression or anxiety and if a screening result is positive.
Screen Pregnant People and New Parents
National organizations for healthcare professionals (OBGYN, Family Medicine, Pediatricians, etc.) recommend screening for anxiety and or depression for all new and expectant parents during and after pregnancy, and through the first year after birth. Screening is just one way for your healthcare provider to find out more information about how you have been feeling and coping during and after pregnancy.
Commonly used screening surveys are:
- EPDS (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screening)
- PASS (Perinatal Anxiety Symptom Screening)
- GAD7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screener)
- PHQ9 (Patient Health Questionnaire)
You may be asked to complete screenings or checklists while you wait in the waiting room, or in a provider’s office. Sometimes answering these questions, can feel uncomfortable, or confusing. Please know it is OK to ask clinic staff questions, or if you aren’t sure what is being asked to have them explain it. Most screenings are available in multiple languages, and can also be read to you, if you prefer.
In Minnesota, screening for postpartum depression (of the parent not baby) can be done in the infant well child check and billed to the infant’s insurance.
Additional information about routine screenings of birthing people and or parents, or to download screening surveys in English or other languages are listed below.
Commonly Used Mental Health Screening Tools Before or After Birth
These screenings, surveys, or checklist tools may be given to you at your clinic, family home visit, or doctor’s office. These tools can be given to pregnant or postpartum parents, and partners, adoptive parents or others who are caring for a baby or young child. Many of the screening tools are available in different languages.
The EPDS is the most used depression screening tool for birthing people and their support partners. It has been translated into more than 60 languages and has been approved for use with adolescents and partners of the birthing parent.
EPDS in other languages can be found at Perinatal Services BC and Health Translations.
The PASS asks questions about anxiety, worry or overthinking during and after pregnancy. It asks different questions about when you may feel anxious at different times, and in different situations.
The PHQ-9 is not specific to pregnancy or postpartum, but it is very often used in primary care settings for perinatal depression screening.
This tool is available in multiple languages.
Universal screening for substance use can begin at the start of pregnancy and can lead to earlier initiation of treatment. You may be asked questions about if you have used alcohol or illicit drugs during your pregnancy, or if you have a personal or family history of substance use.
In 2021, Minnesota legislators made changes to the Minnesota Statute 260E.31 REPORTING OF PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. This law now supports pregnant people to continue to receive care during and after a pregnancy if they are using substances. For birthing people that continue attending providers appointments and are making efforts to not use substances during pregnancy, their providers are not required to report them to a local welfare agency. However, providers must report to a local welfare agency if the birthing person stops attending providers visits or are no longer working on a plan to stop using substances during pregnancy.
Screening Tools for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
The Minnesota Well-being and Emotions Check (WE-Check) tool can be used to assess adults ages 18 and older. The tool consists of five questions about common reactions and feelings that people might have when they have experienced things like war, loss, or political violence. The tool is also available in different languages (under Screening Tool).
What if I screen “positive”?
Screening “positive” means that the answers you gave on your checklist indicate that you might be feeling depressed, sad, anxious, nervous, or having other signs. People testing positive may benefit from talking with someone trained in supporting new and expectant parents experiencing these feelings.
It is best to identify the need for help early, so that you can get the support that you need.
Ask at your doctor’s office if you would like some recommendations for someone to speak with about your feelings. Some offices have staff to help you find someone to meet with, and help you make an appointment.