Postpartum

Birth happens to mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles – it’s a family event and welcoming the new member is unique and important to each family. Care of families at WBWC after the birth of their baby is designed to facilitate bonding and breastfeeding. We respect the precious time immediately following the birth when parents are getting to know their newborn, and strive to be as unobtrusive as possible while maintaining the circle of safety around the new family. Many families request private time with their baby while they learn to breastfeed, say a prayer or blessing, or just appreciate the afterglow of a beautiful birth experience. We also recognize that there are those who want the option to have additional family and/or friends in attendance at their birth. We will do our best to support the postpartum experience for families as the continuum of birth center care unfolds for you and yours.

Whether you give birth in one of our birthing rooms or need to use UNC Hospital services, WBWC will follow you and your baby during the postpartum period. During the early days after the birth, we will do follow-up calls to assess your recovery and your baby’s transition and breastfeeding. You will also have a home visit from one of our Birth Center nurses, designed to facilitate healthy adjustment to parenting, recovery from birth and successful initiation of breastfeeding. At the home visit, you and the baby will be assessed and any needed teaching and/or recommendations/referrals will be made. It is common for babies to lose some weight before milk comes in and, in general, nature takes care of them and supports them well until milk arrives. Occasionally, we have concerns about the amount of weight lost and may ask that you follow up with us at the Birth Center for a newborn weight check.

At two weeks postpartum, you and the baby will come back for a wellness check with one of the midwives. We will discuss and assess your healing and mood, sleep strategies, and transition to parenting. We examine and measure the baby’s growth and development and make recommendations for continued care. Evidence has shown that postpartum adjustment disorder and/or depression is far more common than was previously recognized and we will screen you at the two-week visit and make recommendations for treatment if we are concerned.

Your final maternity visit will be at six weeks postpartum for a well-woman exam. Bring the baby if you like, although your little one will be under the care of your pediatrician or family practice provider after four weeks of age. As your healthcare needs return to the primary-care mode, we welcome you to continue your primary and preventive care at WBWC after the birth of your baby.