The postnatal period usually ends 6 weeks after your baby’s birth. The delivery of postnatal care may be offered differently in different areas. This care is usually carried out by the community midwives, a specialist bereavement midwife after baby has died, GP’s and health visitors.
If you don’t hear from any of the above professionals please contact your local surgery to find out what has happened as sometimes when we have a baby who requires care on a neonatal or picu unit or has had a transfer to a different hospital information doesn’t always filter through the way we would hope. Postnatal care should not just simply cease when a parent is discharged from their own hospital stay hours or days after their baby’s birth because you have a baby in neonatal or picu care.
If you have been discharged from the community midwives whilst your baby has been in hospital you may be able to connect with the bereavement midwife for support.
You should be offered a 6-week postnatal check-up, this is entirely separate to being offered an appointment with the hospital to discuss your baby. This routine appointment is primarily to check your physical recovery after giving birth. Parents may want to attend as a couple so you can talk about how you’re both coping.
Your Psychological and mental health is just as important as your physical health after having a baby and you have a right to receive this care or to be referred to other healthcare professionals who can support you.
It is well documented that parents who have experienced a neonatal journey are at risk of developing Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bereavement doesn’t make us immune to this and is entirely separate to contending with grief.