Postpartum care (care after the birth) with midwives continues for six weeks.
During this time there are scheduled appointments with your midwife at your home and/or in hospital, and at the clinic – you can also page anytime with urgent concerns or questions.
During postpartum visits, your midwives will:
- Assess the health and progress of you and your baby
- Assist with any breastfeeding difficulties and make a referral to a lactation consultant if needed
- Weigh the baby
- Offer routine newborn tests (Jaundice screening, Ontario Newborn Screen, Hearing screen)
- Provide advice on normal newborn care and development
- Discuss the physical changes you can expect after the birth
Usually a midwife will visit you about 12-24 hours after the birth, then two more times during the first week. Your midwife will come to see you wherever you are, either at your home or at the hospital, for these visits. If you are having difficulties in the first week (for example, problems with breastfeeding), your midwife will arrange to see you more often.
If you or your baby are high-risk and have been transferred to a hospital outside of our area, your midwife will see you and your baby for appointments when you return home and will remain available by pager at all times.
Postpartum visits then take place at the clinic at 10-14 days, 4 weeks and 6 weeks after the birth. If it is difficult for you to come to the clinic, then we can see you at home for these visits. At 6 weeks postpartum you and your baby are discharged from midwifery care to your family doctor. We encourage you to make an appointment to take your baby to see his or her family doctor for a well-baby checkup at 8 weeks of age.
At your final visit, we will give you a copy of your records from the pregnancy, labour and birth, and postpartum periods.
- Kellymom – Parenting and Breastfeeding Resources
- What is Rectus Diastasis? (Pelvic Health Solutions)
- The right way to do Kegels: Exercise like a jellyfish (The Globe and Mail)
- Pelvic Partnership – Providing support and information about Pelvic Girdle Pain
- Solace For Mothers – Healing After Traumatic Childbirth
Solace for Mothers is an organization designed for the sole purpose of providing and creating support for women who have experienced childbirth as traumatic. Birth trauma is real and can result from an even seemingly “normal” birth experience.
Organizing Postpartum Help
- Care Calendar http://www.carecalendar.org/
- Meal Train http://www.mealtrain.com/
- Meal Baby http://mealbaby.com/
These are free web based systems to organize meals and other help for families during a time of illness or life changing event, such as the birth of a baby.
Prenatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders
- COVID-19: Support for People
Learn what financial, mental health and other supports are available during COVID-19.
- BounceBack Ontario
BounceBack® is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
- Feelings After Birth (ph: 519-941-6991, ext. 2022)
This is a support group for mothers of infants and toddlers up to age 2 who are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, sad, helpless, irritable or angry with family members. Free on-site childcare is provided. This support group is offered in Orangeville and Shelburne by the public health unit. Call for more information and to register for one of the groups.
- HERE24SEVEN (ph: 1-844-437-3247)
“Here 24/7 is your front door to the addictions, mental health and crisis services provided by 12 agencies across Waterloo – Wellington – Dufferin. All you need to do is reach out to us. We do the intake, assessment, referral, crisis, waitlist and appointment booking work for these important programs. It’s our job to be your guide, figure out your needs and help you navigate the system. This leaves you free to focus on maintaining hope and pursuing recovery.” The phones lines are open 24/7 but it is easiest to get through if you call after 5pm.
- Here To Help – Coping With Depression
This workbook has been contributed to HeretoHelp by our partners at the BC Reproductive Mental Health Program of BC Mental Health and Addiction Services. We highly recommend this resource for women wanting to learn self-help skills to prevent and manage depression during pregnancy and after birth.
- Managing Depression – A Self-help Skills Resource for Women Living with Depression During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond (Best Start)
Fillable workbook in English for future and new parents living with depression: information about depression, and skills to manage it.
- Pacific Postpartum Support Society
Publications and stories to help support those affected by postpartum depression.
- Mother Matters
This is an online support group for women with mood/adjustment challenges following the birth of their baby, run by the Mental Health Program at Women’s College Hospital.
- Wellington/Dufferin Distress Line (ph: 1-888-821-3760)
Call to connect to a caring, empathetic listener. They help support people who are lonely, confused, in distress about their circumstances and need someone to talk to. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained staff and volunteers.
- Wellington/Dufferin Crisis Line (ph: 1-877-822-0140)
Call if you are experiencing a mental health challenge or suicide crisis, or if you’re a concerned family member, friend or professional support worker. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained staff & volunteers.
- Homewood Health Centre
Provides specialized psychiatric and addiction services.
- Life With a New Baby – Postpartum Mood Disorders (Health Nexus) and Video
e-couch is a free self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalized anxiety and worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss & grief.
- Mood Gym
Mood Gym is a free interactive self-help program that provides cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) training in order to help users prevent and cope with depression.
AnxietyBC provides free online self-help and evidence-based resources on anxiety and anxiety disorders.
- Positive Coping with Health Conditions
This is a free online self-care manual that teaches coping skills.
- Structured Problem Solving Workbook
This is a free simple workbook to help identify problems and make a plan to solve them.
- Antidepressant Skills Workbook
This is a free online workbook for adults that gives an overview of depression, explains how it can be effectively managed according to the best available research, and gives a step-by-step guide to changing patterns that trigger depression.
- Antidepressant Skills Workbook
This is a free online workbook for teens that explains depression and teaches three main antidepressant skills to help overcome or prevent depression.
- Mindful Motherhood Online Course
This is an online course that provides introductory mindfulness training for pregnant women and new mothers. There is a registration fee for the course.
Free online mental health resources and screening tools.
- Mood Disorders Association of Ontario
Free support programs to people across Ontario, and their families, who are living with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. There is a page specifically about postpartum depression.
- Healing From PTSD, Trauma and Mind-Body Anxiety
Article outlining different options for healing.
Please note that Grand Valley Midwives does not endorse or promote any of the information, products or services contained in any of the links posted on our website. We do not receive any compensation, financial or otherwise, for including these links on our website. Accessing information, products or services through any of the links provided is entirely at the user’s own risk. Information on these websites is not meant to replace advice from your midwife.