Postpartum and Newborn Care
One of the best things about midwife care is the combination of postpartum and newborn care. This mother-baby dyad depend on each other for well-being. So much of what makes the postpartum period pleasant or difficult involves this interaction: breastfeeding, sleep, eating and emotional health. Care together makes this a lot easier. One stop shopping! Better yet, all visits in the first week are at your home. Weight checks, breastfeeding help or jaundice checks won't require you to pack up and go somewhere.
1-day visit. Between 24 and 36 hours after birth we will come to your home to visit. Some of the things we check for include:
4-day visit. The second visit is generally between 48-72 hours later. Some of the things we check for include:
2 week visit. Although most people are doing very well by this point, this can be a very important visit. Breastfeeding and baby growth are important things to check on as well as resolution of jaundice. If baby is having trouble gaining weight or there are concerns about milk supply, it is much easier to resolve early on rather than waiting until true failure to thrive is diagnosed. This is one of those things where having mom and baby together at a visit is so important. Many families also wish to discuss vaccination options at this visit. Generally the second newborn screening test is done at this visit.
For mom, important things to check on are emotional well-being and healing. By 2-3 weeks, it is a lot easier to tell whether emotional ups and downs are the baby blues or if it is something more serious like postpartum depression. This early it is still very likely that interventions other than drugs will work to shift the depression. Although medications can be useful as part of a treatment plan for depression, many women do not want to take them. By catching postpartum depression in these early stages, we are able to help you identify and organize your support systems and apply interventions that really do make lasting change for the good without requiring the use of drugs.
6-8 week visit. This is your final postpartum visit with us. It is a time to assess how the transition has gone and address any residual issues. Most women desire a pap smear at this visit if they are due for one. We also discuss birth control options and are able to give guidance if you choose to use fertility awareness methods. This is a useful time to review general health maintenance screening plan based on your individual risk factors.
For the baby, we assess growth and development through a physical exam and discussion with you. This visit is the same as a 2-month well-baby exam a family doctor or pediatrician would perform, except that we cannot offer any vaccinations. Much of the information at well-baby visits is geared toward normal growth and development and involves a lot of "parenting advice". This is where our philosophy of believing that you, the parent, are the one who decides how to parent can have a significant impact on your experience with well-baby care. We try to give information and support that fits your parenting needs and style as well as meeting health and developmental needs of your baby.
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