The postnatal period refers to the first six weeks of a newborn’s life. A medical care provider, usually a doctor, nurse, or nurse midwife, will provide postnatal care at the hospital. After you’re home, you will continue to provide your newborn’s postnatal care.
At Dignity Health our Family Birth Centers have been nationally recognized for their level of care and safety for mothers and their newborns. If you would like to learn more about postnatal care in Arizona, schedule a tour at one of our birthing centers, or register for birthing classes near you, call (877) 728-5414.
What is Postnatal Care?
Postnatal care for the newborn immediately after birth includes:
- An attempt at breastfeeding
- Skin-to-skin contact with the mother
- Newborn screenings, such as blood tests, a hearing test, and a critical congenital heart defect test
- A complete physical checkup from the pediatrician you have chosen
- Eye drops or ointment to help prevent infection
Postnatal care in the following days and weeks includes:
- Feeding every two to three hours. A lactation consultant can help if you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch properly while breastfeeding.
- Bonding, which includes skin-to-skin contact, talking and singing to your baby, and eye contact
- Frequent diaper changes, especially right after bowel movement, and treating diaper rash with warm baths and diaper cream
- Sponge bathing until the umbilical cord falls off and until the circumcision heals (i)f applicable
- Well-child exams (c)heckups at one week and one month after birth to provide necessary vaccinations and measure your baby’s growth and development
Reasons for Postnatal Care
Postnatal care helps ensure your baby’s health and wellness. Postnatal care in the minutes following your baby’s birth helps doctors evaluate any potential problems that need prompt treatment.
Because postnatal care occurs over the course of several weeks, a healthcare provider may evaluate your baby in a Dignity Health hospital or other medical facility, in a doctor’s office, at home, or over the phone. Proper postnatal care — from both you and your baby’s doctor — helps ensure your newborn will be happy and healthy in the days, weeks and years to come.
Dignity Health is here to help new moms and their partners beyond delivery offering postnatal care in Arizona.