There's no shortage of books, advice, supplies, products, medical support, and general information on pregnancy, birth, and new babies. You might argue that there's too much out there (and I agree!). What's missing -- and it's a big one -- is solid support and information for parents who have recently given birth.
During pregnancy, it's all "belly-belly-belly," then after birth, it's all "baby-baby-baby." Noticeably absent is the focus on a parent who has just endured a life-changing physical, mental, and emotional transition. In the last couple of years, however, there have been small changes headed in the right direction, which is providing more support to parents in the postpartum year. In the media, we've seen more attention given to the need for postpartum support from friends, family, and postpartum doulas; professional help for postpartum mental health needs; and more online resources, like the one I'm sharing today.
New Mom Health, which began as the "4th Trimester Project" created by an interdisciplinary team from the University of North Carolina and other strategic partners, is a site that provides expert-written information and resources for families experiencing common issues during life after birth. The site is cleanly and beautifully organized, provides the latest medical evidence, and offers real, honest stories to inform postpartum planning. Information on the website has been reviewed by doctors, midwives, and nurses.
My favorite part of this resource, apart from the fact that it addresses the major deficit of health care needs for new parents, is how it's organized and the sheer amount of help and support you can find. Of course, there's a search bar if you want to get right to the heart of your questions. If you're browsing, the site is broken into five different sections, the first of which is general information on the following topics:
- Staying well
- When to call for help
- My care team
When you click through to any one of those topics, you'll find a range of subtopics that deal with the specifics. For example, "Healing/Recovery" includes sections on c-section recovery, vaginal delivery recovery, infections, bleeding, aches and pains, body changes, rest, and postpartum care health. The next section is called "Building My Village" and provides information on how to gather good postpartum support from people like your partner, family and friends, your workplace, and the community.
Of course, what postpartum resource would be complete without including baby care? The great thing about the baby care resources on New Mom Health, however, is that they all point back to and focus on the parents' well-being, too.
Perhaps the best part of New Mom Health are the real, honest stories -- video blogs and articles -- from other moms. I love how there are moms on video sharing real, in-the-moment updates from their lives postpartum. If you ever wondered if you were alone in what you're experiencing, chances are you'll find someone in the same place among these stories!
The last resource section on the site offers detailed steps for finding an in-person and online community of other parents to connect with. The article "Connecting with New Parents Online and in Your Community" tells you how to use keyword and location searches to find a group near you, or an online group that fits what you want/need.
I encourage you to spend some time on New Mom Health, no matter where you are on your pregnancy/birth/postpartum journey. And please share the site with others who are or will soon be on the same path!
TagsPostpartum Postpartum support Postpartum Care