by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN

Photo: Heather (TBC Mama), photo by Nicole Dimotsis of Femina Photo & Design

Although The Birth Center has early discharge after birth, you can read more about that here, you receive a plethora of follow-up that exceeds the standard follow up care for postpartum mothers. Two main pieces of this follow up care are the home visit and one week visit. Here is what you can expect at each:

The Home Visit

First things first, when the nurse arrives at your house for you home visit, she is not looking for a sparkling clean house. She is looking for a Mama resting. Because that is what a Mama with a two to three-day-old baby should be doing! Do not worry about what your house looks like or what you look like. You should be resting and taking care of yourself and baby, the other things can wait.

Home visits are completed between 36 and 72 hours after birth. The nurse will do an assessment on both mom and baby. For mom, this includes things such as vital signs, how breastfeeding is going, how mom is healing, is mom resting enough, and how mom is feeling emotionally during those early days. Some of the things the nurse will do for baby are vital signs, check the umbilical cord, talk with you about the pees and the poops, do the pulse oximetry screening and the HMD blood screening, and check for jaundice.

This visit usually takes about one to two hours. The only thing you need to do is be there! If you have questions you want to remember for the visit, it can be helpful to jot them down so you don’t forget them when the nurse is there. The lack of sleep and adjustment to having a baby home can make it hard to remember anything off the top of your head.

The One Week Visit

At one week, we will see you back at our office to check how things are going and how you and baby are doing. The nurse will assess mom and baby, discuss and/or observe breastfeeding, and talk with you about any questions or concerns you might have. Again, make sure to write down those questions!

The nurse will take a look at some things like the baby’s weight, jaundice, and umbilical cord. She will also complete the second HMD screening and baby’s hearing screening. For mom, she will check things such as vital signs, the uterus, healing of any stitches, and how you are doing with the adjustment of having a new baby at home. The nurse will share tips and information related to breastfeeding, family planning, and peer support. There is plenty of time to ask any questions you might have.

We love getting to see you and your new baby during these visits!

After the one week, we will see you for a six-week visit, but we may see you sooner for a lactation visit or when you stop by for mom’s group. Stayed tuned for what to expect at those visits in a future blog!