If you’re here looking for advice, first let us congratulate you on your new little bundle of joy. You’ve made it through 9 months of growing a new human, and now they’ve decided to join the world — and you’ve found yourself totally overwhelmed. Or maybe you’re still waiting to deliver, and are worried that you’re not going to be able to handle all the new responsibility. Either way, have you considered postpartum home care as an option?
What is postpartum home care and why should you consider it as an option after you deliver?
What is Postpartum Home Care?
Postpartum home care is exactly what it sounds like — you have a doula or other medical professional come to your home to support you after you give birth. Whether that means someone to talk to, or to help you with household chores, or just to get up at night to change a wet diaper so you can get a bit of extra sleep is entirely up to you.
Postpartum home care is designed to help make the transition of bringing a new little one home a bit easier.
The idea of asking for help after you give birth gets a bad reputation — why did you even bother having a kid if you need help taking care of it? — but there is nothing, and we repeat NOTHING, wrong with asking for help. Having a new baby is overwhelming; no matter how many babies you’ve had in the past.
The postpartum period normally extends until Mom’s first checkup after birth, which in most cases is 6 weeks out.
Why should you look into hiring postpartum home care?
It Makes a Hard Transition Easier
Bringing a new baby home, whether you just had a natural birth, a c-section, or completed an adoption, is a big transition. You’re going to be exhausted, you’re going to be worried, and if you had a c-section or a complicated birth, you’re probably going to be in pain. Add to that the fact that you now have a small, needy human to care for, and you’re in for one of the most complicated and difficult transitions of your life.
Postpartum home care can help you through this transition by taking some of the weight off your already burdened shoulders. Sleep for a few extra minutes because you know there’s someone there to change a diaper or set up a feeding. It makes it easier to learn how you and the new baby will mesh, so to speak — how the new little one is going to fit into your family dynamic and how you will learn to care for them.
You’ll End Up Healthier
One benefit you get from postpartum home care is that you have a trained medical professional in your home who you can talk to if you’re concerned about anything from how your stitches look to the color of your newborn’s poop. They’re also there to help you through the trials and tribulations that happen after you give birth including breastfeeding, infant jaundice, and your own emotional balancing as your hormones go back to a normal level.
No Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a form of major depression that occurs after birth. Its cause hasn’t been discovered but most researchers believe that it’s caused by a combination of physical and emotional factors that occur during and after childbirth.
It’s totally normal to feel a bit blue after you give birth — that’s your body adapting to the sudden lack of hormones as you adjust to your postpartum body. When those blues last longer than a week or so, they become symptoms of postpartum depression.
While no studies have been completed on the subject, anecdotal evidence suggests having in-home care like a postpartum doula can help reduce instances of postpartum depression (PPD). Having that support, even if all they’re doing is changing the occasional diaper and giving you someone to talk to, can be essential in preventing PPD from developing or becoming worse.
That said, postpartum care is no replacement for a trip to a psychologist if you are feeling depressed after giving birth. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor might want to prescribe antidepressants. If you’re worried about PPD, make an appointment to talk to your doctor today.
Postpartum in home care isn’t for everyone, but if you feel like you need a bit of extra help it should definitely be an option for you. They used to say that it took a village to raise a child — even though that’s not the case anymore, you don’t have to face all that transition into motherhood alone. There is nothing wrong with asking for a bit of help, whether that help comes from friends, family, or a postpartum doula. You’re not alone!