At the start of this year, I launched a new business, an extension of my current clinical practice: MamaCare Health Services. You would have seen me blagging on about the launch giveaway I was doing, and I have since been sharing lots of info about MamaCare – and related mother-centric topics – on social media… but I haven’t written much about why I set this up. Let me tell you.
Mums are missing out
Basically, women need care and support after having a baby. More than they are currently (in most cases) getting. In most cases, there is a high level of care and attention applied in preconception, throughout the pregnancy and in the lead-up to birth… but after this, focus moves to the baby (who quite rightly deserves a lot of attention) and outside of a six week follow up, the mother’s health and needs are rarely prioritised. But this is all upside down. Mothers need as much care, attention, love and support as their newborns.
Traditionally, a community network made up of family and friends formed an essential part of women’s healthcare, both before and after the birth of a child. However, these days most of us live outside of such close-knit communities and lack the ‘village’ support that is essential during the weeks and months following the arrival of a newborn. This can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of women, our babies and families.
The fourth trimester
The first three months after birth is often described as the ‘fourth trimester’, a period of adjustment for a newborn to life outside the womb. They’ve spent the best part of 40 weeks cosied up inside their mother: cocooned against the elements, never hungry, constantly rocked, next to her heart. As a result, the adjustment to life outside, on his or her own, takes time and helps explain the neediness of a newborn.
The fourth trimester is also a time of huge adjustment for any new mother, whether it’s her first, third or seventh child. Around the world, in many different traditions, the weeks and months following pregnancy and birth are honoured as a special time for the mother herself: a transition. In many cultures, women are not expected to carry on their normal lives, there is no pressure to ‘snap back’ to where they were before, but instead they are revered and recognised for the changes they’ve undergone and journey they are beginning.
Continuum of care
One of the key tenets of MamaCare Health is to provide a continuum of care for women during what is often a time of great upheaval. This ensures that each new mother receives the support she needs to take care of herself, her baby and her family.
The service includes regular in-home checkups, a support email and phone line, resource pack, tailored nutritional advice, appropriate herbal prescription, and referral options when additional support is required. Ideally, I visit at least once before the birth and again at least once (or multiple times, if possible) after the baby has arrived. For more information on the details of what a visit entails, how the service is set up, pricing and so forth, see MamaCare’s FAQ page.
Over time, I aim to build a community of women who can support each other, and help to re-establish that village we all so dearly require. For now, though, it’s me and MamaCare, bringing the village to you.