There is hope

Iowa's Perinatal Depression Project


   About baby blues

  About postpartum depression

  About postpartum psychosis

  What causes perintal depression
   and who is at risk?

  What help is available?  

  Facts & myths

  Resources for children

  Downloadable materials

  Additional resources

 woman and baby laughing

A woman who recognizes that she has symptoms of depression may not seek help because she may feel embarrassed or guilty about feeling sad at a time when she is supposed to feel happy. She might worry that she will be viewed as a bad mother or "not together."


Remember, perinatal depression can happen to any mother. Women should be encouraged to be open about their feelings, and to seek help if they are feeling depressed. Getting help is a sign of strength. If your depression continues, it can affect your relationship with other people in your life (partner, baby, family or friends).

What help is available?

Treatment of perinatal depression varies for each person and the severity of their depression. Treatment could include:

  • Medicines (let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding)
  • Counseling (talking with a trained professional)
  • Support group
  • Hospitalization

The entire family is affected when a mother is depressed, especially her baby.

Early recognition and support from family can help lessen its impact on all family members.

If you have symptoms of perinatal depression, talk to someone you trust about the way you are feeling. Let your partner know. Find supportive people who can help you and accept their help. You should also talk with a health care provider.

Screening for perinatal depression should be a routine part of your health care during and after your pregnancy. Health care providers - such as your doctor, your baby's doctor, a nurse, or other health care provider - are familiar with perinatal depression.

Confiding in people you trust can help to improve your treatment outcome. If you aren't sure who to talk to, call the Healthy Families Line at 1-800-369-2229 for a referral in your area.

Here's a flyer (spanish version) that provides information on what you can do to help yourself if you are experiencing perinatal depression.

 Women with depression get better with treatment.

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Iowa Department
of Public Health
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Funding for this project was provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.