Here in Spain it is not routine to have a Midwife come to visit you at home once you have given birth. However, as there are many different changes that can occur once you have had your baby e.g. Physiological changes occur for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy state, coping with the emotional rollercoaster that can sometimes come after giving birth, sleep deprivation, feeding issues, and the need to receive breast feeding support..... For all of these and more , having a Midwife come to your home to offer support can help make this an important bonding time , for you and your baby . Helping to make these early moment, as cherished and stress free as possible.
In the UK it is a government standard, that women and their babies be closely monitored in the weeks following birth, to help ensure their health and well being. Not only is it helpful to have emotional support and guidance at this time, it is important to ensure your baby is developing and thriving as he or she should be.
I offer full postnatal check on mother and baby at each postnatal visit. These visits can be arranged for times that are convenient to you and will be completed within the comfort of your own home. This will include... checking your blood pressure , pulse , temperature, ensuring any stitches you may have had , are healing as they should and ensuring your uterus (womb) is returning to its pre-pregnancy state. I will also be able to offer support and advice on how often to feed your baby .As well as full breast feeding advice.
The checks that will be done on your baby will include a full head-to-toe examination, checking your baby’s skin is healthy and clear , checking your baby’s suckling reflexes ,as well as other reflexes , giving advice on umbilical cord hygiene and showing how to bath your baby. Your baby will also be weighed (usually around day 5 and then again around day 11) to ensure your baby is gaining the appropriate amount of weight. If your baby has lost weight (greater than 13% of his or her birth weight), together we can formulate a feeding plan to ensure your baby is receiving what he or she needs.
Jaundice levels can also be monitored at each visit and recommendations can be made, if needed, on treatment of jaundice in the newborn.
Separate breastfeeding visits can also be arranged if you feel you need guided support with breast feeding , I can come to your home and observe how you feed your baby and offer advice on a range of different positions , attachment and stimulating exercises for the baby to engage more at feeding time.
The recommended number of postnatal visits is at least 4. Usually these will be on the day after either having your homebirth or being discharged from hospital, then again on day 5, day 8 , and then on day 11.
Additional visits can of course be arranged to suit the needs of both the mother and the baby.