The immediate time after birth is called postnatal or postpartum period and lasts for around six weeks after birth. During this time, your body starts to recover from pregnancy and birth, and your hormones start to get back to your pre-pregnancy levels.
As a new mum you should try to relax as much as possible and the most important thing during this time is to cuddle with your new baby. Another purpose of the postnatal period is to get to know your baby and to develop your breastfeeding relationship together.
As your body goes back to its non-pregnant state, this can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings and not every mum is always happy or feels happy about the new situation. To have such feelings is okay because even the most wanted and wished for child changes your life greatly and that’s not always easy. That’s exactly when I want to be there for you and support you. I can support you with breastfeeding / infant feeding, your recovery or just give you practical midwifery advice.
If you plan to have your baby in the hospital but you would like to go home within 24 hours it is called “ambulante Geburt” in Austria.
Studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding rates increase the earlier women tend to go home if there is professional support, as problems can be spotted and resolved earlier. If you decide on an “ambulante Geburt”, you would call me once you have given birth. I will then come and see you the same day, and most days within the first week of birth to check that you and your baby are both well. It is also possible to do the newborn blood spot screening (for metabolic diseases) at home. Depending on what is going on, we will plan visits and how many are necessary.
For a postnatal check I will visit you and your baby at home. I will check your baby and his or her weight, umbilicus healing problems, any nappy rash and provide breastfeeding support. I would also be interested to hear how you are feeling emotionally, as becoming a new mum (or for the second or third time) can bring up lots of different feelings. I will also take your blood pressure, check your uterus and any possible wounds. At this time, we can also discuss your pelvic floor recovery, general baby care and handling, learning how to babywear… the list is endless. I would be there to answer your questions as they arise.
Breastfeeding has always been an essential part of my work as a midwife. Due to my work experience in a “baby-friendly hospital” (UNICEF accredited) and my on-going IBCLC training (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) I have specialised in this field to be able to support even with complicated breastfeeding situations. If choosing me to look after you postnatally, I am offering breastfeeding preparation in pregnancy.
Laser therapy can enhance cell function and therefore works relieving pain and supports wound healing. Low-level laser therapy doesn’t have side effects and can be used for a variety of reasons in maternity care as it improves blood circulation, inhibits inflammation, relieves pain and reduces the risk of infection. For example it can be used when having sore nipples, engorgement, wound healing issues or irritated baby bottoms.
Discussing your birth in a professional way can not only help you to better understand what and why certain things have happened during labour, but can also to answer any questions. As a midwife I can discuss your birth looking at hospital documentation and the trace of foetal monitoring. It doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience, but it might be interesting and even fun for you to understand everything from a professional point of view and to just talk about your birth experience.
However, if there are negative feelings which are on-going, it can give closure to go through everything again in order to focus on what was positive. Particularly if you are having another baby, or plan to in the future, getting closure helps accept that things can be different with a different baby. I can help you to create a birth plan or birth preferences.
It doesn’t matter if you want to talk about your birth soon after the birth or weeks, months or years later, just whenever you feel the time is right for you. In Austria, hospitals are obliged to keep documentation for 30 years. You can request your personal documentation yourself.