Pregnancy Resources for New Moms

Hey Mama! Congratulations on growing your family! The goal of the guide is to be a one-stop resource for moms who are trying to conceive, currently pregnant, or recently given birth. This guide offers ALL of the resources needed for a successful pregnancy and postpartum period in the Des Moines area.

The pregnancy and postpartum period can be filled with lots of joy, but it can also be overwhelming when researching all of your options. For many parents, there seem to be way more questions than there are answers: What kind of birth would suit our family best? Where should I give birth? Who will help me after the birth of my baby? Once my baby is born, will I ever sleep again???

It is our hope that this guide helps answer some of those questions for moms in Des Moines. We created this guide to be a helpful part of your journey into and through motherhood. Together with The Iowa Clinic, and our other business partners we hope this guide will help you find the best pregnancy and postpartum care.

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Iowa Clinic OBGYN providers Des Moines Mom pregnancy guide

Carrying and delivering a baby is a big deal! And as one of the most life-changing times of your life, the last thing you need is stress and uncertainty. The Iowa Clinic’s team of OB/GYNs makes your experience as healthy and relaxed as possible, combining the most up-to-date information with innovative resources and common sense. Plus, their full-service lab, medical imaging and pathology departments are right onsite, so you can spend less time at the doctor and more time preparing for your new addition. When you’re ready for the big day, their physicians deliver at MercyOne West Des Moines Medical Center and Methodist West Hospital.


5950 University Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266


1410 SW Tradition Drive
Ankeny, IA 50023


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UnityPoint Health

At UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, you will find experienced and caring physicians, midwives, nurses and support staff who will help you welcome the newest member of your family. Choose your provider from a highly skilled team that includes OBGYNs, certified nurse midwives (CNM) and family practice physicians. The care teams at each of our maternity centers are trained to offer you the personalized care that you and your newborn deserve before, during and after your child’s birth. Iowa Methodist Medical Center, one of our two maternity centers, is situated in downtown Des Moines. If your baby requires more advanced care, Blank Children’s Hospital is located right next door to the Iowa Methodist Maternity Center, connected by a walk-way leading directly to the Level IIIB NICU. Blank Children’s physicians and staff are readily available to provide any assistance if that need should arise. Methodist West Hospital, located in the western suburbs of the metro, offers experienced staff, beautiful surroundings and 24/7 on-site neonatal support in partnership with Blank Children’s Hospital. Our specially trained neonatal nurse practitioners and transport nurses attend each delivery and can treat babies needing specialized care in the Level II Special Care Nursery. At UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, we care about you and making sure you have the support you need, from our birth and baby care classes to our high quality, personalized care, to lactation support and beyond.

becoming a mom

by Kinzy Gillespie

Hold the test pointing down, place the absorbent strip in a stream of urine for 5 seconds, recap the test, and wait for the longest three minutes OF. YOUR. LIFE.

Pacing the bathroom, clearly ignoring the portion that states “don’t look at the results for 3 minutes,” you obsessively check the lines and await your fate. Will you be sad if there’s one line? Relieved? Are you ready to be a mom? Do you want a child? 3 minutes and one pee-soaked stick is all it takes to change your entire life FOR-EV-ER.

motherhood has ruined me

by Rachel Verzani

I am officially wrecked from these children.

My hips will never again fit into a size 4. My chest has forever changed. My belly will always have a little bit of pudge and a whole lot of stretch marks. My scar from my belly button piercing is stretched and unrecognizable. The bags under my eyes are permanent. My hands are cracked and dry from all the washing. My immune system is continually tested. I have white hairs. I am addicted to caffeine. My body is ruined.

You, my child, are worth it all. You are worth being wrecked for.

If this is the price of motherhood, then please, sweet children, ruin me. Again and again. Forever.

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From One #desmoinesmom to Another



As a new mom it’s okay to not be okay. It is so important to reach out for help even though it is hard to admit you need it.
• Ask a friend to come and hold the baby while you take a shower.
• Give yourself grace and self-love.
• Moms are warriors. And warriors need help from their fellow warriors from time to time.
• Take a long hot shower and blast that favorite music mama!

From One #desmoinesmom to Another


West Des Moines

I learned the hard way that it's ok to ask for help. With my first, I thought I could handle everything. I was totally wrong and ended up with some postpartum depression after major sleep deprivation. With my second, I was forced to ask for help while also healing from an injury. I learned how nice it is to have others help out with some of the small (and big!) things. And in my experience, most people like to help out new moms, they just don't know how to ask!

My best advice: if people offer to help, take it! Let them bring you ice cream, Starbucks, or fruit. I vividly remember asking my BFF to buy me "Granny Panties, the bigger the better". Even during these Pandemic times, there are still ways people can support you!

You've got this!

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“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy” Tina Fey

Mom Friends

by Katie Evans

One thing that has TRULY surprised me in my adult life is how many people (particularly moms) are aching for friendship. I grew up right here in Des Moines and still found myself feeling “friendless” when we moved back from Minnesota. I remember calling our parents (who are awesome) to hang out on the weekends! But we were still eager to find a group of friends! Fast forward eight years and I think I have learned a thing or two about making friends as a mom.

feeling lonely in mesh underwear

Katie Nyberg

I vividly remember the first months of motherhood being so lonely for me.

My son was born in late December. My husband wasn’t able to take any time off work, and I had no idea what I was doing as a new mother. To complicate matters, I also had this package of hospital-issued mesh underwear and phonebook-size pads I was supposed to be using. I remember sitting with my baby, watching the clock tick slowly, and feeling completely lost in what I was supposed to be doing to care for this tiny baby.

Something was definitely missing. Something didn’t feel “right.” I hadn’t showered or left my house for days in a row. I had this emptiness and hopelessness that I couldn’t figure out.

From One #desmoinesmom to Another



Set Your Own Standards

When a screaming, gooey kid was laid on my chest after a 24-hour labor, I thought, “okay, bye now.” He was neat and all. But, I wasn’t capable of doing anything other than thinking, “what did we just do?”

Luckily, I wasn’t doomed at motherhood just because we didn’t have the picture-perfect first meeting! New moms (heck, all moms) can sometimes get set up to feel like failures.

Don’t let someone else’s standards get in your way. Embrace the beauty of a mom tribe and use their ideas to find out what works best for your kid.

dear first-time mom, chill out!

by Kara Knaack

CALM DOWN. Seriously, calm down. You are on the fast track to nutso-Kara, and no one wants that.

Right … so first-time mom Kara is not a fun person. In ideal, pre-baby conditions, you are a FUN person. You are gracious, talk in complete sentences, can make jokes, and can listen with a compassionate ear. But first-time mom Kara is more than a little neurotic and a teensy bit batty (and by teensy bit, I mean a lot. Crying on a walk because your husband kicked you out of the house to get fresh air is a bad sign.) Being new to motherhood and extremely sleep-deprived, well, those things did not bring out the best version of yourself.

First-time mom Kara, people aren’t going to do things exactly the same as you would, and the world will not end (this is actually a life-truth, not just a mom-truth). For example, your dear, dear friends who agreed to babysit your child will be able to put your baby to bed without the step-by-step swaddling tutorial and the teddy bear you left swaddled as an example. Dial down the crazy, dear.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

-- Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

From One #desmoinesmom to Another



Forget the parenting books, which overwhelm you with information that doesn't pertain to your situation. Find a couple of moms you admire, and ask them for advice when you're struggling to figure out anything from sleep schedules to illnesses to what's for dinner. Their tried and true advice will give you solutions you won't find in any book.

guess what? you're having twins

by Keshia Nashleanas

Saturday night August 12 is an evening I will never forget. The house was quiet. Everyone was asleep. But I was up having a snack. Peanut butter and ice cream was my go to, but for some reason I was experiencing pain. I walked it off. I settled on the couch to read a book – thank you pregnancy insomnia. About thirty minutes later, I decided to wake my husband as things were just not right. Since I didn’t go into labor on my own with my first pregnancy, I wasn’t sure if this pain was a true contraction, but, as moms, we always have a hunch when things are different.

I woke my husband and by 1 am we were at the hospital. I clearly remember my husband having no clue where to park while circling the hospital. We were new to the area, and he’d been on a hospital visit.

when breastfeeding doesn't work, again

by Eva Morales

I had such struggles with breastfeeding my first daughter. She was a preemie and born so early she didn’t even know how to suck. She spent time on a feeding tube after birth so the actual act of breastfeeding was out of the question. I was exclusively pumping, but my supply was basically non-existent. The nurses told me stress (like the stress of being in the NICU) could impact milk supply and was reassured it would get better when we were home. I just needed to keep at it.

So I did. I kept at it, except it didn’t get better after we got home. Eventually I had to come to terms with the fact that breastfeeding, this beautiful act of bonding between mother and baby that was was supposed to come naturally just wasn’t going to work out for us.

my experience with preeclampsia

by Betsy Hemesath

My son was born at 36 weeks after I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. He was conceived using IVF, and I never felt great the entire pregnancy. Once I was in my third trimester, my feet, hands, and face were constantly swollen. I just kept telling myself it was all normal for pregnancy.

One Sunday, at 35 weeks, I could hardly get out of bed. My chest was tight, I was extremely swollen, and just didn’t feel well. I got up in the morning and told my husband shortly after that I needed to go lay down. Laying in bed, I couldn’t rest. I knew something was wrong. I got up and told my husband to take my blood pressure. My husband is an OB/GYN, so when he saw my high blood pressure, he calmly said, “we need to go to the hospital.”

gender disappointment

Katie Nyberg

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I truly didn’t care whether I was having a boy or girl. I knew I wanted one boy and one girl, and I wouldn’t have any disappointment with either gender with my first baby. When I found out it was a boy at my 20 week ultrasound, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to call everyone and tell them the good news! I loved being a mom to this little boy.

Not much later, people started asking when we were going to start “trying for a girl.” When I announced my second pregnancy, people asked if we were hoping for a girl. It seems that in our society, a perfect family needs to have at least one boy and one girl. It’s hard for me to admit that I completely bought in to that thinking, too.

my c-section birth story

by Shay Scholtes

My pregnancy was smooth. I truly enjoyed pregnancy and my growing bump. When the time came to create my birth plan, again, the idea it wouldn’t go this way never crossed my mind, I imagined a tranquil birth experience. I was open to pain management but wanted to keep my options open. During child birth classes I didn’t pay much attention when they talked about C-sections. I didn’t think I would need that.

I was induced because at my appointment on my due date, they couldn’t get a consistent blood pressure reading. At one point, it was leaning towards the high end. I was also starting to have contractions (irregular) as well during the non-stress test. Due to these factors, the doctor I saw that day scheduled an induction. I was so excited to be induced because I just wanted my baby here now.

new mom must-haves

by Andrea Cooley

Over the next weeks and months, you slowly start to learn your baby's rhythms. Life with a newborn is a series of slow dance moves that ebb and flow throughout the day. You discover the things you can and can’t eat if you want a happy, gas-free baby (broccoli and beans have never been good to my babies). You learn to discern his cries until you know when he’s gassy, hungry, wet, or just cranky.

You hear a lot about surviving pregnancy, but it’s easy to forget that adjusting to having a new baby can be just as hard! I like to call the first 10-12 weeks of a baby’s life the fourth trimester.

Friends are quick to tell you what you need for your baby when you come home from the hospital, but moms need things, too!

We Are Des Moines Mom

It's been10 years since we began connecting moms in the Des Moines Area. We are the #1 local resource for moms in and around Des Moines and Central Iowa. Des Moines Mom is made up of more than 20 women driving community to connect, empower, and inspire local moms.