Extended postnatal care and support when you are home

Hello My name is Stefanie and I'm a midwife at Monash Health

Today I'm going to talk to you about going home with your first baby That can be a little bit scary It's good if you can plan ahead to have another adult at home to help and support you in the first week or so This might be your partner, a friend, or your mum As a public patient, one of our midwives can also visit you in your home in the initial week to continue your care, offering advice on breastfeeding, caring for your baby, and your own health and well-being

We call this our extended postnatal service or EPC for short If you have any worries, it may help to write them down at the time so you don't forget to discuss them with the midwife when he or she visits The EPC midwife will generally visit you at your home once or twice, depending on you and your baby's needs If you develop any symptoms of concern, our EPC midwife will discuss these with you, and depending on the issue, refer you to your GP, a lactation clinic, or the hospital emergency department This EPC midwife service is followed on by the maternal and child health nurse services

A maternal child health nurse will usually contact you in the first week or two and offer you a visit at home or suggest a time to visit the clinic When your midwife visits, she will check with you that your baby is feeding well, that there are wet and dirty nappies, and they will discuss settling your baby Generally your baby will be weighed This may be the first time he or she has been weighed since birth, and it is most likely that the weight will be less than when the baby was born The midwife will check your baby's cord

It usually separates in the first week There may be a few spots of blood when the cord separates, and this is normal If your baby has not had the newborn screening test, which is the heel prick, this can be done with your consent at the visit The newborn screening laboratory will contact you directly if there's any need to have it repeated To help keep our staff safe, we ask that when a midwife visits your home, pets are restrained

Dogs should be kept outside of the room when we are seeing you and your baby No smoking or alcohol, no one has used drugs, and let us know in advance if someone in your household is unwell Sometimes if there's a history of family violence, for example, we may be unable to visit you and ask you to come back into the hospital to be checked You will probably have lots of questions as you get to know your baby and as you recover from the birth Remember, you don't have to do all this on your own

So all the very best with your new baby Remember, you and your baby are the top priorities for a while Let others help you as much as they can

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