What is Postnatal Care?
Whether you’re a first-time parent or you’ve experienced the joys of parenthood before, one thing is certain: you won’t be navigating the early days of parenthood alone. As soon as your baby arrives, a network of support will be there to guide you through this transformative journey. In this blog, we will delve into the concept of postnatal care, its significance, and the comprehensive services it encompasses. So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover how postnatal care can make a world of difference.
What Does Postnatal Mean?
“Postnatal” (or “postpartum”) is a term you’ll often encounter throughout your maternity journey. It refers to the period following childbirth when your body transitions from pregnancy to motherhood. In this phase your body undergoes physical, hormonal and emotional changes as you adapt to the new demands of caring for your baby.
Why is Postnatal Care Important?
Postnatal care is the specialised care and support provided to mothers and their newborns after childbirth. This care is vital for several reasons::
- Smooth Transition: The shift from pregnancy to parenthood can be overwhelming. Your Midwife will offer guidance and assistance to help you navigate this transition smoothly.
- Early Recognition of Health Concerns: Regular check-ups provide reassurance but also aim to highlight any potential health concerns for both you and your baby and allow for timely intervention ensuring a smooth recovery.
- Emotional Well-Being: Hormonal changes and sleep deprivation can lead to mood fluctuations. Your Midwife provides emotional support, helping you manage stress and reduce the risk of postnatal mood disorders, and to receive appropriate help if you need it.
- Bonding and Feeding: Your Midwife promotes bonding between you and your baby, offering valuable guidance on feeding (breast or formula), caring for your baby and yourself.
What Postnatal Care Does the Mother Receive?
Postnatal care encompasses an array of essential services that cater to your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. After your birth, you’ll receive initial postnatal care. If you have booked for birth support in hospital or at home your Private Midwife will support in the few hours immediately following birth ensuring you enjoy either the famous hospital tea and toast or your preferred food at home and supporting you for your baby’s first feed.
In the first few days, whether in hospital or at home, your physical recovery is observed, and guidance given on postpartum self-care. At home, your Private Midwife will visit every day for one to two hours the first few days, with the visits becoming gradually less frequent over time as you gain confidence. Through your midwifery visits we aim to:
- Provide Continuity: It is well documented that continuity of care (seeing the same Midwife for all of your appointments) drastically increases the safety of care and improves specific outcomes (such as breastfeeding success rates), as well as overall satisfaction of care.
- Support Your Physical Recovery: Your Private Midwife will ensure your body is healing properly after childbirth, monitoring your recovery with thorough and regular physical checks, addressing any concerns you might have.
- Emotional Support: Postnatal care includes mental health support. Your midwife will provide emotional support to help your adjustment to your life with a new baby.
- Breastfeeding Assistance: Whether you’re a first-time parent or not, postnatal care offers expert guidance on breastfeeding techniques, latching, and managing challenges if this is how you choose to feed your baby.
- Newborn Health Checks and Screening: Your baby’s well-being is also a priority. Regular check-ups will assess your baby’s growth, feeding, and overall health. We will arrange a full examination of baby called the NIPE (Newborn Physical Examination of the Newborn), the day five screening test called the NBBS (Newborn Blood Spot) and a hearing test, with your consent.
- Parenting Advice and Education: Our Midwives provide valuable tips on newborn care, safe sleep practices, and techniques to soothe and care for your baby.
- Contraception and Family Planning: Discussions about safe contraception options and family planning are offered prior to your discharge form our care.
- Access to Multi-Disciplinary Support: Sometimes, your feeding challenges may need the expertise of a Lactation Consultant and/or Tongue Tie Practitioner. Sometimes, there may be a concern with you or your baby’s health needing the support of an Obstetric or Paediatric Doctor. We can ensure timely access to the best suited professional to ensure the correct level of support to keep you both thriving.
Accessing Postnatal Care with Private Midwives
We have a variety of postnatal care packages to suit your needs, from intensive daily support in the first week, to up to 4 weeks of care.
By accessing a holistic support system from a Midwife you know and trust, you’re not only ensuring your own health and happiness but also giving your baby the best possible start in life.