Mental Health and Motherhood: Postpartum Depression

This article is sponsored by UnityPoint Health—Des Moines.

postpartum depressionThe mental burden for moms is heavy. We worry about our kids, we worry we aren’t doing enough as moms, we worry about our relationships. Throw in a pandemic, school from home, economic instability, divisive politics, and racial unrest and it can be crippling. 

Des Moines Mom wants to create a safe space for ongoing conversations about mental health. In the past couple of years, it is a topic that people are more comfortable talking about, but there is still room for growth.

Find the rest of our conversations about mental health and motherhood here

Postpartum Depression

Here is our conversation about postpartum depression with Kate Hatten, a licensed mental health professional with UnityPoint Clinic. 

What is postpartum depression and what are some common signs? 

The first thing is postpartum depression is longer than “baby blues” which can last a couple weeks. The baby blues are characterized by crying and weepiness and exhaustion. 

What we look at when it comes to postpartum is these same symptoms but more intense and longer-lasting. It can be overly anxious, worrying, withdrawing from typical things you enjoy, having thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself or the baby. 

If you think you are suffering from postpartum depression, what should you do? 

Reach out to your primary care physician about what you’re experiencing. They can help assess the symptoms, put you in touch with a mental health therapist and/or prescribe some medication, or refer you to a support group. 

Are there things moms can do to avoid postpartum depression? 

Have a birth plan and know what to expect about labor and delivery. Make sure you have a good support system ready before you have your baby. 

What encouragement do you have for moms who are experiencing postpartum depression? 

One in eight women suffers from postpartum depression. It is very common and if you are experiencing it, you are not alone. 

Kate Hatten, LISW

Kate Hatten is a licensed independent social worker. Kate graduated from Luther College with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and St. Ambrose University with a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Kate previously served as a school-based mental health therapist and in-home therapist working primarily with children and families. Most recently, she provided forensic interviews at Blank Children’s Hospital and has extensive work in the field of child sex abuse. Kate is licensed to assist all ranges and clinical diagnosis and uses a strength-based, holistic treatment approach to all clients. She enjoys building therapeutic relationships in a non-judgmental and compassionate atmosphere. She is a Behavioral Health Consultant/ Senior Therapist at the Waukee Family Medicine Clinic as well as the Lakeview Counseling and Psychiatry Clinic.

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