As soon as you deliver your baby, your entire world changes. If you’re a first time mom, you may feel overwhelmed by all the unknowns, and if you’re a second, third or even fourth time mom, adding to your family may make your already stretched capacity to manage your life feel even more strained.
We understand. That is why we provide postpartum care, education on breastfeeding and safe sleep positions for your baby, and support groups designed to help new mothers manage their new bundle of joy while dealing with the stresses of family and work obligations.
All new mothers are followed for several months after birth to be sure everything is going well. Is Mom healing well and feeling well both physically and mentally? Is the baby demonstrating good health and ability to thrive? This is especially important for first-time moms who may not know what to expect during the first few months of motherhood.
We will schedule your first postpartum appointment before you are discharged from the hospital; this gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have about caring for yourself and your baby – and gives us a chance to see your new baby! We LOVE seeing how the babies we help bring into the world are doing!
Thinking of Breastfeeding?
Whether to breastfeed or bottle feed is a very personal decision for any new mom, and we will support you in which ever decision you make. We will start talking about your options during your prenatal visits, and our lactation consultants and midwives are on hand after you deliver to help you learn how to breastfeed if you choose to.
Breastmilk has been proven to be the perfect nutrition for babies, and we recommend that new moms breastfeed exclusively for at least the baby’s first six months before introducing formula. Breastmilk has all the nutrients and vitamins a newborn baby needs to put on weight at an appropriate rate and develop his or her immune system. Babies who are breastfed are less likely than their bottle-fed peers to develop allergies and diabetes or become obese as adults. Moms who breastfeed lose their ‘baby weight’ faster than their non-breastfeeding counterparts and they experience contractions while breastfeeding that cause their uterus to return to pre-pregnancy size faster. It’s a win-win for mom and baby!
And while we recommend new moms at least try to breastfeed, we understand that some women will not be able to and others simply don’t want to, and that’s perfectly fine. As the mother, it is your choice as to how you want to feed your baby.
If you are interested in learning about breastfeeding, UM Capital Region Health has a breastfeeding class where you can learn more about it before you give birth and talk with other breastfeeding mothers after birth for tips and support. The class is led by one of our certified lactation consultants and is offered monthly at the Gladys Spellman Building on the campus of UM Prince George’s Hospital Center. Please go to the Events Calendar for schedule and registration information..
Topics the class will discuss include:
- The mechanics of breastfeeding
- How to know you're doing it correctly
- How to know your baby is getting enough milk
- How breastfeeding improves your baby's health
- How breastfeeding helps you return to pre-pregnancy weight
- Tips and tools for breastfeeding after you return to work
All classes are FREE and are held on the campus of UM PGHC in the Gladys Spellman Building.
Postpartum Support Group
We know that motherhood – especially for first time moms – can be stressful and is not just about taking care of an infant. Juggling a job, bills, and family can be challenging when you’re exhausted and trying to learn your baby’s verbal and physical cues – “I’m hungry! I’m tired! There’s too much noise! My diaper needs to be changed!”. This is why we offer a monthly postpartum support group that can provide you with an outlet for your frustrations in a nurturing, non-judgmental environment. Our postpartum group can help you:
- Realize that you are not alone, you are not a bad parent, and there are people who can help
- Understand what postpartum conditions are and what resources are available to help you deal with them
- Share your experiences with other women who truly understand what you are going through
- Learn ways to deal with and manage new baby and mom stress
- Recognize the difference between normal stress and postpartum depression
The postpartum support group meets monthly in the Gladys Spellman Building on the UM PGHC Campus. The schedule for the postpartum support group is posted on the Events Calendar under Childbirth.