Sometimes the key to finding the right help is knowing where to look.
Baby has arrived and let’s face it: You are in the weeds.
We all know that postpartum is messy and leaky and sleep deprived. But here’s the thing, sometimes it’s a little (or a lot) more complicated than that. That’s when you need to pause, talk to yourself in the kindest voice possible, and ask: Is it time for help?
When the going gets tough, don’t grit it out. Not right now. Instead, follow this flowchart to see what you need to transform your fourth trimester from troubling to triumphant.
A postpartum doula is trained to hold space for you, provide hands-on support, and assess or refer you out to specialists.
Your baby should start to fall into a sleep rhythm around 3 to 4 months. Prior to that, schedules vary greatly and sleep training is not recommended. If you’re concerned, speak with a pediatric sleep consultant who can help you establish good sleep habits.
If your mental health isn’t what it could be, it may be a good time to seek out a perinatal therapist or visit Postpartum Support International for local mental health resources and online support.
Struggles with breastfeeding aren’t unexpected, since both you and your baby are learning a new skill. A lactation specialist can assess the situation and provide recommendations. Visit the International Lactation Consultant Association’s website to find a lactation professional near you.
Schedule a consult with a pelvic floor therapist who’s certified to perform internal work if you’re experiencing ongoing pain, incontinence, or struggles with returning to sexual activities.
Well visits are great, but you don’t have to wait. If there’s an issue with your baby’s health, schedule a visit with baby’s pediatrician to identify and treat the concern.
Mandy Major is a mother, certified postpartum doula PCD(DONA), and the co-founder of Major Care, a telehealth startup offering remote doula care for new parents. Follow along @majorcaredoulas.