Postpartum depression and anxiety are highly prevalent worldwide. Fisher et al., estimated the prevalence of depression and anxiety at 15.6% during the antenatal and 19.8% during the postpartum period. Their impact on maternal and child health is well-recognized among the public health community, accounting for high societal costs. The public health impact of these conditions has highlighted the need to focus on the development and provision of effective prevention and treatment strategies. In recent decades, some advances have been made in the development of effective universal and targeted screening programmes for perinatal depression and anxiety disorders. Recent research has shown potential benefits of universal and targeted screening for perinatal depression, to identify and treat undiagnosed cases, and help thwart its deleterious consequences. Ethical implications, however, for these screening programmes, without the provision of treatment have often been emphasized. The present mixed-methods systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to collate evidence for screening programmes for perinatal depression and anxiety. It aims to answer the following questions, in a global context: For women in the perinatal period, do screening programmes for perinatal depression and anxiety compared with no screening improve maternal mental health and infant outcomes? A series of meta-analyses reveal a reduction in perinatal depression and anxiety among perinatal women undergoing screening programmes. For the outcome of depressive disorder, meta-analysis indicates a positive impact in favour of the intervention group (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.45 to 0.66, n = 9009), with moderate quality of evidence. A significant improvement (high quality) was also observed in symptoms of anxiety among perinatal women (SMD = − 0.18, 95% CI: − 0.25 to − 0.12, n = 3654).