Perinatal Mental Health

This post is sponsored by UnityPoint Health.

Des Moines Mom is committed to creating a safe space for ongoing conversations about mental health.

Image by Prostock-Studio

Mom’s mental health is of utmost importance but it is especially important to keep an eye on a woman’s mental health during the perinatal (the time before and after baby is born) time period. Today we spoke with Brittney Haskins, the coordinator of Blank Children’s Hospital’s Childbirth and Postpartum Education program, about mental health resources for mom before and after baby comes. 

What are some signs or symptoms that you need to seek help with your mental health?

  • Feelings of sadness, helplessness, worthlessness, or regret
  • Anxiety
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or baby
  • Sleeplessness, loss of appetite
  • Obsessive or compulsive rituals
  • These are just a few signs and not a complete list

Where can you look for help?

  • Start by voicing your concerns about your mental health!
  • Talk to your partner or a family member about these things
  • Get a referral from your Primary Care Provider or your OB-GYN who delivered your baby 
  • Check out for online resources  

Maternal Mental Health Awareness

The first week of May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness week! The goal of The Blue Dot Project is to raise awareness, provide support, and nuture solidarity with the aim to end the stigma and share surrounding perinatal mental health disorders. Help spread the aim of the Blue Dot Project by sharing your story and helping destigmatize mental health disorders. 

Watch more of our conversation with Brittney Haskins about Perinatal Mental Health. 

Thank you for making time to help normalize the conversation about mental health. In this ongoing monthly series, we will be talking about mental health for ourselves, our kids, our spouses, and our families. 

See more of our conversations about Mental Health

Brittney Haskins Blank Children's Hospital Brittney Haskins is the coordinator of Blank Children’s Hospital’s Childbirth and Postpartum Education program. She was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety after the birth of her now three-year-old, which led her to getting involved with Postpartum Support International’s Iowa chapter, most recently serving as the board president. Brittney is the previous owner of One Sweet Kitchen and has now worked at UnityPoint Health for over four years. She lives in Des Moines with her husband, Marc, and son Otto.



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Kara Knaack
Kara originally hails from northwest Iowa where she met her husband, Lance, through a 4-H fashion show. After a decade of living in central Iowa, Kara is still figuring out which way is north. Wearing the hat of “wife, mommy, employee, chef, ribbon tie-er and family calendar organizer,” Kara knows a bit about juggling life and work. Kara became a boy-mom in June of 2011 to Lucan and a girl-mom to Gracelyn in December of 2014. Most days you can find her mixing up metaphors and oversharing life’s moments via social media. Kara enjoys yoga, reading, gardening, cooking, sewing in straight lines and singing along to musicals. A spender by nature, but thrifty by necessity, Kara is always in hunt of a bargain. She’s an active member of Northpoint Church and a resident of Grimes. Her vision for life includes “doing the best we can with what God gives us.”


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