First Six Weeks with Your Baby
The first six weeks with your baby can be a real roller coaster! Although excited to finally meet your baby, you may also find it challenging. You may have feelings of elation, exhaustion, worry or relief. All of these feelings are completely normal, and you can discuss all of them with your midwife, who will care for you and your baby for six weeks after the birth (this is called postpartum care). During this time, your midwife will provide guidance around how to care for your baby and yourself during this special time in both of your lives.
Regardless of where you give birth (home, birth centre or hospital), your midwife will provide care in your home within 24 hours of the birth. You will have about six midwifery appointments during the six weeks following the birth, including several in the first week. Midwives monitor both your and your baby's health and provide breastfeeding support. They will ensure you're recovering well, both physically and emotionally.
In caring for your baby, midwives will perform newborn screening for metabolic disorders as well as physical examinations, including checking weight, length, heart, lungs, and how the umbilical stump is healing.
After six weeks, you and your baby will be discharged from midwifery care and will see a family doctor or a pediatrician for your baby's care. Before you leave midwifery, your midwife will discuss your birth control plans, provide further breastfeeding support and refer you to any services you need to address mental health needs.
Clients sometimes feel sad about leaving midwifery care, having been through an intense and meaningful moment in their lives with people who saw them through it every step of the way. Stay in touch with your midwifery practice group by getting on their mailing list or social media feeds, or attend your clinic's annual picnic to catch up yearly with your midwives!
Click on the video below to get a taste of what postpartum care with a midwife is like.