Confidently prepare for a positive birth experience – Join The Birth Class
What is infertility?
The Two Week Wait
Why are prenatal vitamins so important in pregnancy?
Early signs of pregnancy
How to Prepare for a Positive Induction
breastfeeding support in postpartum in the home with GP and new mother
If you want a thorough guide to support options in the first six weeks after birth, listen to episode 403 with Dr Eliza Hannam who is a GP, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a Neuroprotective Development Care (NDC) practitioner and takes you through common postpartum challenges and how support can be so beneficial.
Traditionally General Practitioners (GP) – aka, your family doctor – are not trained in breastfeeding or baby sleep support. Thankfully there is a new generation of GPs who have completed Possums Neuroprotective Development Care training which qualifies them to share breastfeeding guidance and sleep support based on infant biology. This means that in your appointment your GP will be discussing and endorsing safe co-sleeping as well as offering you guidance on breastfeeding techniques. You can find a NDC Practitioner HERE and many appointments will be eligible for Medicare rebates.
An international Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a health professional (GP, obstetrician, midwife, physiotherapist etc) who has completed over 90 hours of education, 1000 hours of patient care and a comprehensive examination. This ensures they are the most qualified professionals working in the clinical breastfeeding space. Not all IBCLC’s are doctors or independent midwives, hence if you’re paying privately you won’t be able to get a Medicare rebate. The Breastfeeding Medicine Network Australia/NZ is a registry of doctors who are IBCLCs or who have other further training in breastfeeding medicine and you can search the directory HERE. If you require the support of a lactation consultant but want to access public care, contact your local public hospital or community health centre.
Available to everyone with a Medicare card, a mental health plan offers you 10 subsidised sessions with a psychologist within the calendar year. If you have a history of mental health concerns or you are experiencing anxiety or depression in pregnancy, it can be helpful to set up a mental health care plan with your GP before your baby is born. This means that in postpartum, if you feel like you need professional support from a mental health worker, you’ve done the groundwork to ensure your sessions are subsidised. Of course, perinatal mental health issues can arise at any time. If you need immediate support, contact PANDA and then make an appointment with your GP – these are great first steps towards seeking help.
Bank Australia is a customer-owned bank and they believe in supporting communities around the country. They commit up to 4% of their annual after-tax profit to their impact fund and every year, they use part of that fund to create community customer grants which are available to organisations who are creating change. Bank Australia invests in the people and groupsthat need it most. Making a positive social impact is a priority, so they support the organisations that aim to prevent family violence and provide a safe space for women and children experiencing domestic violence. Bank Australia works towards a fair, equal and welcoming country and they do that by supporting grassroots organisations in your local community. To make the shift with 180,000 other Australians head to bankaustralia.com.au/birth
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Typically occurring between day 3-5 after birth, breast engorgement is a common symptom in early postpartum when your milk comes. It can also occur later in your breastfeeding journey if your baby sleeps for longer and misses a feed, or drops a feed during the day or night. It can cause your breasts to be full and hard and this can cause pain and make it tricky for your baby to latch. Essentially, your breasts can feel like they’re about to explode which is quite disconcerting.
You may have heard some nightmarish stories about mastitis and frankly, it’s not something you want to contend with at any stage of your breastfeeding journey. It’s most common in the first three months postpartum but it can strike at any time, particularly if your baby has reduced their feeds, is starting to sleep for longer periods at night or you’re weaning.
In early postpartum, breastfeeding and sleep challenges are common and can contribute to anxiety and overwhelm. Unless you have a private midwife, there’s a distinct void of health services in postpartum which makes it challenging to access professional support. It’s definitely beneficial to be aware of this in pregnancy so you can adequately prepare for postpartum.
Firstly, if you’ve recently birthed your baby and your bleeding has increased, don’t delay in seeking medical attention. It’s recommended to present to the emergency department at your local hospital and explain that you’ve recently given birth and you’re concerned about your blood loss. You may be experiencing a postpartum haemorrhage.
If you’re currently pregnant and starting to gather essentials for your baby, chances are you’re thinking about the must-haves for your nappy bag.
The colloquial and derogatory term, baby brain, has been used for decades to explain the forgetfulness and brain fog of new motherhood. But research proves that the brain in new motherhood is primed for learning.
Comfortable basics are absolutely essential for early postpartum when your body is soft and sore. Your physical recovery will be very dependent on your birth experience but, that said, no-one is bouncing back from pregnancy and birth. The whole concept of returning to who you were before your pregnancy is unrealistic; your body has taken almost a year to conceive, grow and birth your baby, it will take you time to recover and heal.
The hierarchy of needs is a great tool to use in conversation with your partner so together you can work out how to facilitate your essential needs in postpartum.
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