New Mom Care: Postnatal Care Package
The care provided and administered to a mother and her newborn during the postnatal period is summarily referred to as postnatal care. The postnatal period also known by any of the following; postpartum period, puerperium or fourth trimester, is the period that begins immediately after delivery of the placenta and it typically extends to the 6 weeks following. It is a critical time after delivery when maternal physiologic changes related to pregnancy return to the non-pregnant state.
During this period, scheduled postnatal visits are expected between a postpartum mother and a Nurse, Midwife and/or Medical doctor for postnatal care.
EHA Clinics recently launched its postnatal care package open to both members (at discounted rate) and nonmembers. The postnatal care package is designed to be comprehensive and tailored to the patients needs and preferences.
What can you expect with EHA Clinics’ Postnatal Care
With postnatal care, mothers and their newborns can expect scheduled visits from our trained nurses. With a minimum of 3 visits scheduled at Day 3, Day 7-14 and after 6 weeks post delivery.
In cases involving low-birth-weight for example, additional visits may be required.
All home care visits are conducted physically and may be supplemented by virtual consultations. The timing, content and delivery of care and information provided are uniquely tailored to the mother’s needs and preferences.
At each postnatal contact, the mother is given an opportunity to talk about her birth experience, and where support is needed. The attending Nurse will take all into consideration and provide accordingly, including appropriate referral if there are concerns about the mother’s or newborn’s health.
During these visits, whether it is Day 3, Day 7/14, or 6 weeks postpartum, a holistic approach is applied for the care and assessment of both mother and baby.
This could comprise history taking, observation and monitoring of maternal concerns and symptoms such as pain in legs, fever, dribbling or retention of urine or breast tenderness, etc.
Physical assessment: Mother is checked for vital signs, pain, vaginal discharge and bleeding, nipple and breast discomfort/inflammation, signs and symptoms of infection, thromboembolism, anaemia, pre-eclampsia, etc.
Psychological and emotional well-being assessment: Signs of postpartum blues, postpartum psychosis are also checked for. Mother is counselled on what signs and symptoms that she might experience that would require her to seek medical help such as sudden, increased or persistent vaginal bleeding, foul smelling vaginal discharge, worsening redness and swelling of breasts, persistent and severe headache, chest pain, leg swelling, shortness of breath and so on.
Assessment of baby: This will include checking the baby's appearance, including colour, breathing, behaviour, activity and posture of the head (including fontanelles), face, nose, mouth (including palate and frenulum), ears, neck and general symmetry of head and facial features. Baby’s eyes are checked for opacity, colour of sclera. Its neck and clavicles, limbs, hands, feet and digits are assessed for proportions and symmetry. Heart rate, rhythm and femoral pulse volume, respiratory effort and rate as well as abdominal shape, condition of umbilical cord, genitalia and anus, skin, weight and so much more are thoroughly assessed.
If any abnormality is detected, mother and/or baby is referred for immediate medical attention.
Patient education: Education is an essential component of the postnatal care visits. This provides an opportunity to reinforce education given during the antenatal period. Potential topics of discussion include, but are not limited to wound healing, perineal hygiene and symptoms of infection, infant feeding: breastfeeding and lactation, Infant birth weight, meconium passage and wet diapers, fatigue sleep deprivation, rest and relaxation, care of the newborn, how and when to seek help/support, Immunisation (maternal and child), family planning options, resuming sexual intercourse, and more.
Who is eligible for Postnatal Care?
All mothers (women) in the postpartum period.
However, women with complications during pregnancies e.g: eclampsia, birth of preterm babies, and/or babies with medical conditions may not be eligible and would instead be referred to receive medical attention.
At EHA Clinics, the postnatal care package has been curated to meet the goal of providing comprehensive, convenient and patient-centred care to postpartum mothers and their babies, as well as avoiding preventable postpartum complications.
This service is now available at both EHA Clinics’ Abuja and Kano branches. For more information, please visit www.eha.ng.