After delivery, your energy and questions switch to adjusting to life with a new baby. The support team in the hospital spends time preparing you for the first days at home. We continue to care for you at your postpartum visits. The topics below are some of the more common that come up after pregnancy.
We encourage everyone to breastfeed their baby. Breast milk is usually the only food your baby needs for the first six months of life, and it is ideal to continue breastfeeding until your baby is one year or older.
Lactation consultants at Providence Mother and Baby Clinics are very skilled and familiar with questions and concerns that many parents have. They evaluate babies for jaundice feeding difficulties and weight gain. They also assess milk supply, breast pain and breastfeeding positioning. Prenatal, newborn and lactation consultations are provided. Same-day consultations are often available. Many of their locations include a store that carries a wide variety of maternity and breastfeeding supplies.
- Babies get sick less often
- Babies have less chance of developing asthma, obesity, diabetes and other health problems
- SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is less common in breastfed babies
- Some people find that breastfeeding helps them recover more quickly and help lose weight after pregnancy
- You also have a decreased chance of developing breast cancer later in life if you breastfeed
Many new parents feel sad or nervous after their baby is born. These feelings, called “baby blues,” are very common. Signs of “baby blues” start a few days after the baby is born and usually go away in 1-2 weeks.
If your “blues” don’t go away or get worse, it is called postpartum depression. When depressed, you may not be able to care for your baby or yourself. Severe depression usually goes away with treatment. But without treatment, it can last longer or can get worse and may lead to thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.
Call your doctor if:
- You have extreme anxiety or invasive thoughts
- You feel more depressed or your depression does not go away
- You need to talk about your problems. You may call the social worker, or one of the other resources below.
Call 911 and seek care immediately if: You feel like hurting yourself, your baby or others.
- Baby Blues Connection – a parent-to-parent support service based in the Portland area. They offer a 24/7 message line, run support groups and provide a large number of resources to help with postpartum adjustment.
- Postpartum Support International – an international organization that helps people and their families cope with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression.