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  • Writer's pictureElysia Douglas

The Village Isn't Just for the Child

With overwhelming joy, you held your baby in your arms and pulled them close to your chest. With your partner by your side, you entered the unknown territory of parenthood. In those initial hours, nurses came in for guidance and to answer your questions. When you felt unsure, the lactation consultant may have stopped by to assist with those intimidating first latches. Someone delivered nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep hunger at bay. Housekeeping provided fresh linens, towels, and took out your trash to keep your room comfy and cozy. When your baby wouldn't settle, the nurse came back and showed you how to swaddle them, again. Your care provider and the pediatrician made their rounds to ensure both you and your baby were recovering well from the intense events that occurred less than a day before.

For the first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth, there was a community of helpers, one might say a village, at your disposal whenever you needed them.

Then they sent you home.

What now?

Now, it's time to surround yourself with people who can give you the physical and emotional support you need as you traverse the fourth trimester and the rest of the postpartum period. That’s right. Your postpartum recovery doesn’t magically end once your baby reaches 6 weeks, when you see your care provider releases you from care, or even 12 weeks when you might have to return to work.

Some postpartum issues don’t surface for up to a whole year after birth.

With only seeing your care provider once after baby arrives, it is imperative that there is continuity of care for you. Your village provides that. It should consist of people who you trust, who know you and your history well, and those who have experience and expertise in this pivotal point of life. While occasional visitors and meal trains serve a purpose, more targeted support may also be needed.

In addition to your care provider and your baby’s pediatrician, there should be several professionals on standby after your baby arrives. Some of these may include:

· Postpartum Doula

· Lactation Consultant

· Mental Health Specialist

· Pelvic Floor Specialist

· Webster Certified Chiropractor

But what about the pandemic?

You can take whatever precautions you need to feel safe. Some of these professionals can offer you virtual support. For those whose jobs need to be done in person, your comfort level can dictate the parameters surrounding entry to your home. Requiring proof of vaccination, negative covid tests, masks, screening for symptoms or going by the honor system. It is all up to you.

North Atlanta Concierge Doulas would love to hear about the things that are most important to you during your postpartum period. Our doulas can give you insight on contacting the professionals in your area who will be helpful during this time. Contact us for your complimentary consultation and let’s get you on the right track for a beautiful birth and postpartum experience.

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