New Women’s Health program offers support after birth

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By Jennifer Steffen, NP – InterMed Women’s Health

The postpartum care management program also includes a Planning Visit with a Nurse Practitioner between 28-32 weeks.

You just had a new baby. Everything is wonderful, right? Well, not always. For some women, the time after delivery, called the postpartum or the fourth trimester, can have many challenges. Physical healing from childbirth, hormone fluctuations, newborn care and breastfeeding, lack of sleep and fatigue, isolation, and new or exacerbated mental health conditions are just a few of the issues to navigate. This can be complicated by pre-existing health or social conditions.

In the U.S., most women attend one follow-up visit with the provider at 6 weeks, then hurry back to work by 6-12 weeks after delivery. However, there is increasing awareness in the U.S. that this is a critical time for a woman and her infant.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has recently issued recommendationsto improve support for women in the weeks and months following birth.  The ACOG advises earlier and ongoing contact that is tailored to the woman’s individual needs. Research suggests these practices can improve short and long-term health and well-being.

In accordance with these recommendations, InterMed Women’s Health offers a postpartum care management program. We will support our new mothers by providing a Postpartum Planning Visit with a Nurse Practitioner between 28-32 weeks. This visit is geared toward planning for and educating about the postpartum period.

Topics will include:

  • Identification of individual physical, emotional and social risk factors
  • Physical recovery from birth
  • Common postpartum complaints
  • Sleep and fatigue strategies
  • Education for infant feeding choices
  • Postpartum depression/ mood disorders
  • Birth spacing and postpartum contraception
  • Follow up plan for pregnancy complications
  • Chronic disease management and health maintenance plan

In addition to the routine 6-week postpartum visit, all women will receive “check-in” phone calls at the following touch points:

  • 1 week
  • 4 weeks
  • 12 weeks
  • 16 weeks
  • 6 months

If a problem or need is identified, women will be offered guidance by phone or an additional appointment with one of our providers.

Filed under: Women's Health News
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