Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type

OTD Capstone


Occupational Therapy



Faculty Advisor

Michelle Saksa

Site Mentor

Mary McIntosh

Capstone Coordinator

Leslye Molamphy


Program Development


Postpartum Care


This capstone aimed to identify “Occupational Therapy’s Role in Postpartum Care.” The literature revealed that due to an abrupt transition into the role of a mother, engaging in occupations, the musculoskeletal system and maternal mental health are factors impacted. OT’s role in postpartum care identified in the research includes support in routines, roles, breastfeeding, education on ergonomics, adaptive equipment, home modifications, and interventions to relieve and prevent pain while increasing strength and stability. However, due to a gap in limited screening tools for this population, many women do not receive treatment for impacted factors. This capstone project utilized program development to create a postpartum screening tool for women seeking services at the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Center in Abilene, Texas, based on careful observation and conversations with mothers. Two women tested out the screening tool, shared their raw postpartum experiences, and provided feedback on the tool. The data revealed that one participant scored moderate risk for needing therapy services. This capstone project provided further insight into the role of occupational therapy in postpartum care and created the foundation for a postpartum screening tool that WIC can utilize with future clients. Recommendations for future research are advised with a larger postpartum population and at various sites to provide more substantial data on the tool. Other findings include a need for more accessible therapy for low-income women and for an increase in clinicians to specialize in postpartum care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.