Welcoming a baby into this world is a scary and prestigious responsibility. The first phase of the changing family dynamics is the postpartum period, which many don’t prepare for. Read on to explore the importance of postnatal care and why families must prepare and request support.
Understanding the Fourth Trimester
Often, expecting families associate maternal care with prenatal visits, labor and delivery, and newborn care decisions after delivery. While all these phases matter significantly, the postpartum period, also known as the fourth trimester, is an integral part of the birthing parent-baby dyad. This phase is imperative for healing, bonding, nourishment, and rejuvenation. Failure to prepare or forgetting about the expecting parent’s needs can result in traumatic postpartum experiences, postpartum mental illnesses, and improper healing or bonding for families.
Many consider the immediate postpartum period as the first six weeks after delivery. But it’s essential to understand the postpartum period extends well beyond six weeks. The fourth trimester extends through the first 12 weeks postpartum, but postpartum can last anywhere from one year into toddlerhood. Expecting parents can sustain their postpartum period for as long as their bodies and babies desire, and rightfully so, as these transitions are monumental and sacred.
What To Expect
Parents can expect a few standard postpartum practices after they deliver their baby and make it home. Some typical procedures will vary based on delivery and health outcomes, but in general, all families can expect these types of care.
- Newborn wellness checks to monitor growth and development
- Wellness check for the delivering parent to monitor the recovery
- Postpartum depression and anxiety screenings
- Pelvic examinations
- Family planning conversations (if applicable)
What To Demand
Based on what you can expect from a postpartum phase, there are various things expecting parents and family members can request per their individual needs. These wants help family and care providers understand how to serve you best and help you adequately bond, heal, or nourish yourself.
Commonly, the delivering parent will forget to demand the care they need and have specific unmet needs. Communicate with others to ensure you care for yourself, your baby, and the family. The following are common and appropriate postpartum demands:
- Childcare while bathing or eating
- Additional rest during the day
- Feeding support
- Time off from other responsibilities
- In-home help with chores
Why Having Proper Care Matters
Having proper and adequate postpartum care is essential for an expecting family. A healthy pregnancy and delivery are only a small part of the process, but having postpartum care can affect the parent(s) and newborn(s) with the transitions.
Mentally, parents can struggle without support, further inducing hardship for the baby. Therefore, it’s vital that all expecting parents prepare for a postpartum period before delivering to ensure provisions are in place.
Cascade’s Part in Supporting the Postpartum
Cascade Health Care acknowledges the importance of postnatal care and understands how vital it is to all families. We support medical professionals thoroughly with professional midwifery and doula supplies equipped to offer superior services and support to the families they assist. Browse our selection today to support your families and practices.