Postnatal care has gradually changed over the last few years. Studies are showing more and more how important a continues care after birth is for mother and child. In most countries, postpartum care is recommended to prevent maternal and infant morbidity (1). Over the last few years Studies have also shown, that it improves maternal knowledge, attitude and skills related to parenting, maternal mental health, maternal quality of life and maternal physical health. One has also found out, that postpartum home services can significantly decrease the common complications in this period and increase the mothers’ satisfaction (2).

Women who are provided with professional care and home visits based after their own needs after birth establish a better sense of coping (3) and enable themselves to take charge of their new life situation to the greatest possible extent. A home visit provides them with so much security and calm in the hectic postnatal period, that both maternal quality of life and maternal physical and mental health improve. They report feeling confident in discussing their emotions and experiences with a midwife or healthcare specialist in their own home. Studies have shown that home visits improve maternal knowledge as well as attitude and skills related to parenting.

Cara lactation consultation, postpartum home visits
Lactation consultation during doula home visit.

The World Health Organisation (4) recommends that one should provide every mother and baby with a minimum of four postnatal visits: first day after birth (24h), day 3 after birth (48 - 72h), between days 7-14 after birth and then 4-6 weeks after birth. The visits should be offered by midwives or other skilled providers meaning nurses. At our Babyluv Care clinic both midwives and doulas provide home visits. 

They also recommend postnatal home visits to assess wound healing, bowel and urinary changes, postpartum bleeding, uterus contraction or tenderness, headaches, fatigue, back pain, breastfeeding and breast pain. But also to check the psychological side - emotional and mental well-being and if there is a support system to help day-to-day matters. Mothers should also be counselled about everyday things like nutrition, hygiene, safe sex and family planning.

Did you know?

    Most western countries have already established a postnatal care system. For example in Germany (5) a woman and her new family have the right to one home visit a day by a midwife until the 10. day after birth. Additionally, they can consult/arrange a home visit with a midwife up to 16 times until the baby is 12 weeks old and be guided by her until the baby is one year old. All of this is free of charge because the health insurance covers it.

    In Estonia, our clinic Babyluv Care offers families support with newborn care and postpartum home visits by midwives, such as done in Germany.


    Additional Sources

    1Women's Perceptions of Quality and Benefits of Postpartum Care
    2. Postpartum home care and its effects on mothers’ health: A clinical trial
    3. Home visits by midwives in the early postnatal period
    4. Postnatal Care for Mothers and Newborns. Highlights from the World Health Organization 2013 Guidelines
    5. Hebammenhilfe - was steht Ihnen zu?

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