Improving postpartum health outcomes in Kansas

Hosted By: Tim Carpenter - May 2, 2022


The birth of a child is a blend of anxiety and joy, but it can also give rise to a feeling of malaise in mothers that often dissipates in a couple of weeks. A longer-lasting form of this condition is referred to as postpartum depression.

Prompt treatment can help moms manage symptoms and bond with a baby, but what if you’re a low-income mother in Kansas without access to counseling and health care? The consequences — hypertension, cardiovascular disease, overdose, suicide – can be extreme.

The Kansas Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly have taken a step to alleviate the suffering through legislation extending the state’s Medicaid postpartum coverage from two months to 12. Salym Soderholm, a mother of two who experienced postpartum depression; Sapphire Garcia-Lies of the Wichita Birth Justice Society; and Kari Rinker of the American Heart Association join the Reflector Podcast to explain postpartum illness and the benefits of program changes for mothers, babies and families.

Read more about Kansas lawmakers expanding postpartum care for new mothers covered by Medicaid.


Sapphire Garcia-Lies

Wichita Birth Justice Society

Kari Rinker

American Heart Association

Salym Soderholm

experienced postpartum depression

Tim Carpenter

senior reporter, Kansas Reflector