Postpartum education, or lack thereof, is the most overlooked cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. The lack of thorough postpartum education with patient understanding is often the reason warning signs are overlooked as normal and seeking care is delayed, or not pursued at all. This narrative review aims to find research to enhance awareness of maternal morbidity/mortality and improve patient outcomes through education, including ways to intervene beforehand. The literature review began in August 2021, suitable peer-reviewed studies were retrieved from CINAHL, Cochrane, and PubMed databases. Evidence from the reviewed studies found supporting evidence indicating insufficient postpartum education related to the lack of education/cultural differences with patients, communication barriers when providing instruction, understanding emergency situations, and identifying warning signs were the most common contributors to poor outcomes. The review of studies did not specify the duration of postpartum education or ways that education was presented. The search yielded twelve studies that were found with main keywords, maternal morbidity, maternal mortality, and postpartum education. Future research should determine if postpartum education throughout pregnancy will help mothers retain the vast amount of emergency information over time, rather than a fifteen-to-twenty-minute timeframe at hospital discharge. Training through information and skills assessment for nurses to ensure they are knowledgeable and confident in their teachings, along with patient follow-up calls between visits, will also provide a great service to this population.

Date of publication

Spring 4-17-2023

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters in Science