Iowa's Perinatal Depression Project

For Providers: Consultations and Resources


This service provides consultation to healthcare providers who have questions about screening, diagnosis, treatment, or referral regarding perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Consultants are University of Iowa psychiatry faculty.

While providers seeking consultation may call this line or submit a query form for information in order to make treatment decisions about a particular patient or patients, this service does not consult directly to or about individual patients, and should not be construed as direct advice about managing any particular patient’s care.

We strive to provide immediate phone consultation or feedback to query forms whenever possible. However, please note that this is not a “hotline”. Questions will generally be answered or responded to within one business day.

Type/scope of questions:

  1. What should be considered before making a decision to discontinue psychotropic medications before or during the perinatal period?
  2. What should be considered when making a decision whether to restart ___ medication during the postpartum? While breastfeeding? While pregnant?
  3. What medications should one consider when switching to/from ___ to treat depression or anxiety in pregnancy? While breastfeeding?
  4. What safety information is available on ___ medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding? What are treatment alternatives that should be considered?
  5. What side effects might be expected for an infant breastfeeding and exposed to ___ medication? When is this medication at its peak level?
  6. What strategies are available for reducing medication exposure in breastfeeding infants?
  7. How long before conception attempts should medication be discontinued (antidepressants, mood stabilizers)?
  8. What is your recommendation for an intitial antidepressant for breastfeeding women? Should any blood tests be conducted on the mother and nursing infant?
  9. What mood stabilizers could be considered for a pregnant/breastfeeding woman with bipolar disorder?
  10. What options exist for preventing depression during pregnancy or postpartum?
  11. What options can be considered for treating insomnia during pregnancy?
  12. What psychotherapy should be utilized for perinatal depression? Where can I find resources on these treatments?
  13. What treatment options are available aside from antidepressants and psychotherapy?
  14. What screening tool should I use with pregnant/postpartum women?
  15. How often should I consider screening pregnant/postpartum women?
  16. How can I get started implementing screening into my practice/agency?

If your question is beyond the scope of those described, please contact us and we'll determine if we can provide consultation. If your question is more complex we may recommend that you obtain a formal second opinion or collaborative management through the University of Iowa's Women's Wellness and Counseling Service, a comprehensive clinical service dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of perinatal mental disorders located in the Women's Health Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Request a consultation:
FAX: FORM (pdf) fax number: 319-353-7788
CALL: 1-319-383-1898



One in eight women will experience perinantal depression. Many cases of perinatal depression go unrecognized and untreated, often with significant negative conseqences for both mothers and their families. Screening for perinatal depression can improve health outcomes when combined with a system for treatment. This web page provides information and local resources for health and mental health providers who care for Iowa mothers, pregnant women and their families.

 Obstetric providers       
 Pediatric providers  
 All providers
Screening & Treatment Tools

Assessment of Stressors During Pregnancy and Postpartum
(for patients who score 10 or above on EPDS)

HRSA-UIC Perinatal Project

Edingburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
Espanol - click here

Fact Sheet for Providers

Iowa Department of Public Health

Culturally Neutral Questions

Iowa Department of Public Health

Improving Maternal and Infant Mental Health: Focus on Maternal Depression

National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy

Parental Depression Screening for Pediatric Clinicians: An Implementation Manual

Based on the Parental Well-Being Project at Dartmouth Medical School

Incorporating Maternal Depression Screening into Pediatric Practice: Strategies and Implications

The Commonwealth Fund

Iowa's 1st Five Project

1st Five: Outcomes and Implications (pdf)

Iowa Department of Public Health

Primary Care Tool for Assessment of Depression During Pregnancy
(for patients who score 10 or above on EPDS)

HRSA-UIC Perinatal Project

Screening for Caregiver Depression


Maternal Depression Screening Training

Early Childhood Iowa,
Iowa Department of Public Health

Current Research Projects

Iowa Depression and Clinical Research Center

 MedEd PPD Postpartum Depression Resource

MedEdPPD.org, National Institute of Mental Health

Perinatal Depression: Emerging Perspectives and Practices

Maternal and Child Health Information Center


Privacy Notice
Disclaimer of Liability & Endorsement

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