Here in the United States, we are enamored with pregnant women. There are salves, creams, workouts, massages, drinks, foods and a whole slew of other products all geared towards the pregnant woman. Pregnancy and a pregnant woman's self care is a $266.6 million dollar industry. As it should be. There should be a ton of products and services available to make a pregnant woman's life easier and more comfortable, because despite the images of glowing pregnant women we are fed in magazines and in the media, pregnancy can be really, really hard and uncomfortable.
And then. Then you have the baby.
And this all goes away.
It seems that in our society, when a woman has a baby, she is left a little bit to fend for herself. The next industry is all about baby- nursing pillows, nursing cookies, bottles, swings and other devices, but there really isn't an industry that is focused on a postpartum woman's self care. Sure, she gets a 6 week checkup, but that number is arbitrary and often is the ONLY stop on the self care train for a postpartum woman.
This gap is one of the HUGE reasons why Duo Diary was created. A new mom shouldn't have to fend for herself after bringing a child into the world, whether through birth or adoption. Bringing home a baby is a massive upheaval physically and mentally. At Duo Diary, we aim to help this transition be a little bit easier by encouraging new moms to take care of themselves. We also recognize a few areas of care that can help a new mother immensely in those early weeks and months. In fact, a Duo Diary can be a great compliment to some of these services.
The catch? These all cost money. A lot of money. And are not covered by most insurance. Which is why most moms -even those that can afford it - don't splurge on services like this. In our view, these should be a given, not a special treat for those that can afford it. (Heck, most new moms probably don't even know these things exist!). But the below services can really help a new mom get on the right track with her health. So if you are looking for a unique shower gift, consider gifting one of these services (along with, of course, a year's supply of Duo Diary!)
And while you are at it, maybe give your elected officials a ring to talk about better postpartum healthcare in this country. It's time to start taking better care of our new mothers.
1. A Postpartum Doula
Postpartum Doulas help new mothers with the transition into motherhood by supporting a new mother with things like breastfeeding, bonding with baby, help and guidance with the new baby, and many even offer light housekeeping and will run errands. You can find a postpartum doula in your area (if available) here.
2. An IBCLC
Breastfeeding is really, really hard. It can be a massive struggle for many women, physically and emotionally. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) can help a new mom navigate this process by teaching them techniques, checking latches and looking for tongue ties or other potential issues, and providing support in helping a new mom succeed at breastfeeding. Find one here.
3. A PostPartum Exercise Program
A new mom has very specific changes that have occurred to her body that also need to be healed properly- jumping right into a 'regular' exercise program as soon as you get the clearance to exercise just isn't a good idea as it can exacerbate conditions that may have arisen during pregnancy and labor, and don't address the structural changes that occur to a woman's body. There are quite a few exercise programs out there that are geared specifically to postpartum women and healing issues like pelvic floor function and diastasis recti. Mutu System, Restore Your Core, The Tummy Team, Hab It, and Fit2B are all programs dedicated to helping a postpartum mom heal. You can contact these companies about purchasing a gift program for a new mom.
4. Moms Groups
Moms groups can help with the transition into motherhood by giving a new mom a safe place where she can discuss concerns, experiences, learn, and connect with other women having the same shared experience. This is especially vital and helpful for new moms that don't live near family. Many moms groups are offered at your local 'pumping and feeding' store, churches, hospitals, schools, or other places. Here's a great article on what they entail and how to find one.
5. A Pelvic Floor Specialist
Let's get real, your pelvic floor takes a beating during pregnancy and labor, and it is also one of the most important structures for your daily function. News flash: leaking and peeing when you sneeze or exercise are NOT NORMAL and CAN BE FIXED. Easily. Enter the pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist helps 'retrain' your pelvic floor to function properly and can often address issues that affect other areas (like your hips or diastasis). You can find one here, or refer to this article.
What services do you wish you'd known about when you had a baby?