So you’ve spent the last handful of months soaking up all the pregnancy and birth related information you could. You registered for all the things you have heard from friends you needed. You researched strollers for a solid 2 weeks straight. You’ve folded the clothes, you’ve watched the birth videos, you’ve tried on your ring sling. You’re all set...right?
Fast forward to the night you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time. You, exhausted yet on the sweetest birth high, your midwives revisiting information about what to expect for the next 24 hours before they see you again. You’re all set...right?
Fast forward to the middle of week 1, your midwives coming back for yet another home visit. You have 12 questions written up in the notes app on your phone to make sure you ask them. This scene replays for the next 6 weeks, you soaking up the sweetness of bonding with your new baby while hundreds of questions swirl around in your mind throughout the day (and night. Mostly the night, right?!). But these questions about your health, your baby, the way life has shifted, the way your heart and mind have shifted don’t simply end at 6 weeks, right?
What if we imagined something...deeper?
The vast majority of women in the United States have 1 postpartum appointment. One! At 6 weeks. (By that point homebirth midwives have done an average of 5 visits, spending around an hour each visit). That one appointment is, on average, 10 minutes long from start to finish. A quick assessment- physically or otherwise- to say “Yup, you’re good to exercise and have sex! Have fun!” And women often walk out of the appointment thinking...what if I’m not ready? But what about this scar tissue? But what about this lingering nipple pain? But what about more options for family planning than just hormonal birth control?
But? But? But?
Oh friends. We. Can. Do. Better. We must! One of the hallmarks of midwifery care is an emphasis on postpartum care. Holistic postpartum care that addresses the mother-baby dyad in a meaningful, dynamic way. Offering luxuriously long appointments, mostly in your home, continuing the relationship that has been formed prenatally, continuing to serve families in an individualized way. Providing well-baby care for your newborn, providing support for you as a new mom and all the ways that shifts things in your body and your mind and your life.
As a culture we don’t put as much of a sacred important surrounding postpartum as we should. The shift into the world for baby, the transition into motherhood for mom, the ways relationships change between partners...it’s delicate, it’s tender, it’s hard, it’s beautiful, it’s real. But we as a culture mostly focus on the items on the registry we “need,” or on how quickly moms can “bounce back.”
Oh how we have missed the point!
We here at Beautiful One Midwifery love to help our families prepare for postpartum as much as possible. This includes education and discussions throughout the prenatal period, not just after the fact. Like we mentioned, most people spend hours combing through stroller options to find the right one to fit their lifestyle. Don’t we think spending time prenatally to learn about, think about, and prepare for this Fourth Trimester is even more important?
As midwives we began to fall in love with postpartum care, watching moms and babies and families grow over the course of those 6 weeks, over multiple in-depth visits. Doing well-baby care, lactation support, loving on moms and babies and older siblings, making sure partners are feeling supported. We remembered though, as we all know in our hearts and souls, postpartum doesn’t end at 6 weeks.
That first year postpartum in particular, no matter how many babies you’ve had, continues to shift and change and moms often come out the other side a truly transformed woman.
We envisioned a way to extend our care beyond the typical 6 week model, and we see value and worth in that. We offer appointments postpartum at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postpartum. Moms can enjoy all of those visits or none, and even create the intervals that are more useful for them personally. The entire childbearing year becoming a supported, dynamic experience with support at major turns. As time goes on moms often have new questions that weren’t present in the early postpartum days, or didn’t feel as pressing due to the immediacy of tending to a newborn. These visits allow us to really dive deep into these questions and needs.
We believe moms deserve more. We believe postpartum is sacred. So- we are doing something about it.
We offer our dynamic extended postpartum services as part of our birth package, but it is also available to those birthing in hospital yet are desiring more support than what the medical model of care provides. For more information on what exactly is included in our postpartum and newborn care, check out our postpartum care page here.