Development of a Doula Intervention for Postpartum Depressive Symptoms: Participants' Recommendations


  • Judith Fry McComish PhD, RN,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Infant Mental Health Mentor, IMH-E- IV, Associate Professor, Family, Community, Mental Health, College of Nursing, Wayne State University
  • Carla J. Groh PhD, PMHNP-BC,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Professor, College of Health Professions Project Director, McAuley Health Center Women's and Gender Studies, University of Detroit Mercy
  • Judith A. Moldenhauer MFA

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Interim Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Research, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, and Associate Professor and Area Coordinator for Graphic Design, James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History,Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA

Author contact:, with a copy to the Editor:



About 10–15% of women experience postpartum depression (PPD). Doulas provide support and education about PPD.


This qualitative study used focus groups with mothers, doulas, and doula trainers to develop educational materials for doulas to help mothers identify symptoms of depression and seek treatment.


All participants preferred materials that use simple language and avoid psychiatric jargon. Three themes emerged: someone to talk to, flexibility, and interactivity. Materials developed include tri-fold brochure and content for an application for smartphones and digital tablets.


Doulas can use these interactive materials to provide supportive, relationship-based care that complements nursing care.