‘4th trimester’: Report offers new guidance on post-partum care

'4th trimester': Report offers new guidance on post-partum care

(WWBT) - Pregnancy and then having a newborn in the home can certainly take a toll on women.

Most of the medical care, however, comes before baby. One local hospital is now looking to change that.

While everyone is ooooing and awwwwwing over the new member of the family, doctors are reminding us to stop, and look after mom.

"There's the sleep deprivation," said Dr. Daphne Bazile-Harrison. "There's the how do I handle my life with a newborn baby that wants to sleep only two hours a day, but I have to get up and feed, I have to pump, I have to breastfeed, I have to make formula, I have to make laundry, I have to take the other kids to school, I have to do a wife and mother and do everything I have to do."

It's a reality for a lot of moms, and Bazile-Harrison says not a very healthy one.

A new report from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released guidance to improve mental and physical care for new moms. It suggests focusing on what they're calling the "4th trimester" after a baby is born.

"How are you coping?" for example, said Bazile- Harrison. "Are you having those sad moments? Are you able to get through the day to day without feeling like you need to be physically picked up out of the bed? A lot of women these days have complications during pregnancy - high blood pressure, diabetes, things that we need to monitor after the baby is out!"

In fact, this doctor says it might even help to increase the number of appointments post-partum, just to check in on all those questions.

"I want to see you in two weeks," said Bazile-Harrison, a change from the traditional 6 week post-partum checkup. "How are you coping? How is life with the new baby."

Small changes that could bear big results for women and families.

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