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It's Time to Talk About Postpartum

March 28, 2024
Ahma & Co Team
Image Credit: Kristina Paukshtite
Image Credit: Kristina Paukshtite

You’ve just delivered your beautiful newborn…now what? After delivery, new moms undergo dramatic shifts to their bodies and daily lives. Physically, you may be recovering from labor and delivery, possibly experiencing breastfeeding discomforts, and operating off of little to no sleep. Mentally and emotionally, you may be experiencing an entirely new range of stressors, like exhaustion, anxiety, and even postpartum depression. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), one in seven women experience depression in postpartum. In the United States, unfortunately there is not a lot of support in place for new moms. Routine postnatal care consists of a two- or three-day hospital stay post-delivery and a check-up six weeks later. Between leaving the hospital and this check-up, new parents are left with little to no guidance. New moms are left to navigate new hormone fluctuations, physical recovery, and care for their new baby with little to no support. When the time finally comes around for this six-week check-in, mothers often feel that these check-ins fail to deliver quality care and support for both themselves and their infant.

According to a Journal of Perinatal Education study, about one-third of mothers felt dissatisfied with this check-in, citing they did not feel the check-in sufficiently addressed their health concerns. This study notes that these check-ins are often limited to vaginal examinations and contraceptive education, overlooking the importance of the mothers’ mental and emotional wellbeing. Considering this, it is no wonder the United States consistently ranks as one of the lowest performing wealthy countries for postnatal recovery.

The United States can learn from its global neighbors. South Korea, for example, is a leader in its postnatal care approach. Within their community, the postpartum period is reserved for the recovery of new mothers and their newborns. Mothers are expected to take it easy, allowing for peaceful recovery and bonding. Notably, South Korean culture places a high value on postnatal care, which helps bolster new mothers and newborns in this process.

While South Korea has made significant advances in postpartum care, much of the world hasn’t followed suit. The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) notes that globally, 60% of birth-related deaths occur postpartum, many resulting from hemorrhaging. They note that from this percentage that 45% of postpartum maternal deaths occur within one day of delivery, approximately 65% occur within one week and roughly 80% occur within two weeks.

Postnatal care is important to newborns as well, as the MHTF also notes that one-third of infant deaths occur during the first four weeks of life, or the neonatal period. Thus, postpartum care becomes crucial for the sake of the lives of mothers and infants. In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) created a list of recommendations for mothers and infants during the postnatal period. They recommend at least three postnatal visits after birth, counseling for mothers regarding the physiological and psychosocial aspects after birth, the use of iron supplements, and newborn and maternal assessments.

WHO recommends the three visits occur on day three, between days 7-14, and six weeks after birth. Between those days, many changes are happening to a mother’s body, and the transition into motherhood can be difficult as they are recovering. A center that provides around-the-clock care for mothers and children following birth will allow for a smooth transition and wholistic recovery. Ahma & Co’s postnatal retreat center gives new parents a tranquil space to recoup, recharge, and become equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to take care of themselves and their child.

Ahma & Co is focused on providing mothers with postpartum support that the United States has yet to widely provide for families. At our postnatal retreat, families will have access to lactation consultations, the warm presence and invaluable knowledge and experience of postpartum doulas, and a community of other new parents to help you navigate this unique time after birth. Our goal is to make sure the transition into motherhood is met with ease, sleep, and comfort. A stay at Ahma & Co means recovery, confidence, and joy as new moms get to rest, spend time with their newborn, and prepare to enter back into the world with more education and resources to empower them. Learn more about our retreat experience here.

Ahma & Co Team

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