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Doulas and Postpartum Care: The health of the mother reflects the priorities and the health of the c

Proper postpartum care with the support of doulas can build a nation of happier, healthier mothers.

The postpartum period of pregnancy also referred to as “the fourth trimester,” has been historically underlooked within the field of obstetrics in the United States. For many expecting mothers and those in their communities, the focus of preparing for a new birth focuses on the health of the pregnant woman only in regards to the coming bundle of joy. But the health and wellness of the mother after birth, especially in those critical first 40 days, is equally important to the health of the baby as it is to the mother. In order to have the emotional capacity to care for an infant, mothers should feel as physically and mentally fit as possible so that their infant receives the best possible care. Most developing countries have a healthcare infrastructure with resources to support this—unfortunately in the United States, this is not the case.

Maternal mortality rates in the US are generally higher than any other developing country, and each year the numbers get worse. This unsettling statistic is due in part to this country’s shortage of maternity care providers per woman: according to research by The Commonwealth Fund, the US and Canada rank on the low end with only three providers per 250 births. As a comparison, in Sweden there are plenty of childcare workers to choose from. Mothers-to-be are provided with free and subsidized prenatal care including group support, breathing lessons, and group therapy with other soon-to-be moms, and postpartum care is part of the national healthcare package.

Credit to: Holistic family doulas.

Did you know Birth and beyond home care offers Doulas?

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