Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO to release new guideline recommendations to combat perinatal depression


TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2018 – Nurses, health organizations and parents will soon have the latest evidence-based recommendations to help them with a mental health illness that is prevalent, and yet largely undetected and untreated.

On Thursday, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) will release a best practice guideline (BPG) on perinatal depression at a media conference at its office in downtown Toronto.

Perinatal depression (a term used to describe depression that can occur before or after childbirth) is one of the most common illnesses experienced by women who are pregnant or postpartum. Research shows that between 10 and 14 per cent of women develop some type of mood disorder as result of pregnancy. Symptoms can include: frequent crying, trouble sleeping, fatigue or low energy levels, changes in appetite, increased anxiety, and difficulty feeling a connection with a developing baby or child. Unlike the so-called baby blues, which is considered normal, the symptoms of those experiencing perinatal depression are much more serious and last for more than a few weeks.

“There is a lot of anticipation about the release of this guideline and I look forward to its adoption into clinical practice,” says Dr. Angela Bowen, co-chair of RNAO’s best practice guideline and a nursing professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Nursing.

The guideline was developed using a systematic review of evidence and consultation with a interdisciplinary 14-member panel led jointly by Dr. Bowen and Dr. Phyllis Montgomery, a professor of nursing at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Their work was supported by RNAO's guideline research and development team, which has produced 54 best practice guidelines being implemented in Ontario and around the world.

“I am confident that this comprehensive guideline will be an invaluable resource for nurses and others caring for those who are expecting or have given birth. It will also support learning of undergraduate nursing students, provincially and nationally,” says Montgomery.


The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) releases the Assessment and Interventions for Perinatal Depression (2nd edition) best practice guideline


Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.


RNAO (2nd floor foyer)
158 Pearl St
Toronto, ON


Doris Grinspun, RN, CEO, RNAO
Katherine Wallace, RN, Manager, BPG program, RNAO
Sue Bookey-Bassett, RN, member of the guideline panel and person with lived experience
Lhamo Dolkar, RN, RNAO board member and person with lived experience

RNAO is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the healthcare system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


To arrange an interview, please contact:

Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Office: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209