Now that you’ve welcomed your little bundle of joy into the world, here’s the kind of help you can expect from your healthcare practitioner in the coming weeks.
New moms typically see their ob/gyn for a final checkup at six weeks postpartum and return to the care of their family doctor after that. Then, they will either bring their baby along for checkups or find a paediatrician (sometimes – but not always – with the help of referrals from their ob/gyn or birthing hospital) for newborn and child health care options.
Midwives usually provide six weeks of postpartum care to both mother and baby, visiting the home in the early weeks for checkups, breastfeeding help and other physical and emotional support. At this point, new mothers can either return to their family doctor for themselves and their newborn or find a paediatrician based on referrals.
Once the baby is born, doulas usually stick around for a few hours to assist with breastfeeding and anything else that the parents need. For six weeks after the birth, many doulas – particularly postpartum doulas – will visit the home as often as needed, offering help from laundry and meal prep to bathing and swaddling lessons. (Just remember that doulas generally charge by the hour for their services – although you may find a little extra help is invaluable in those first few weeks!)