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Nursing Student Assignment-- Please contribute your feedback!!

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angelimrl angelimrl (New) New

Hi, everyone! I'm new to this site, and a junior year nursing student. As one of my assignments for my clinical course this semester, I need to start an online discussion concerning an issue that I observe at my clinical site.

My area is Labor and Delivery, and I wanted to know how L&D nurses feel about the followup done for new moms. Well-baby checkups are often stressed after birth, but I'm curious as to how much post-partum care is offered to the mother-- How much of followup care after discharge is focused on the mother's physical and emotional well-being? Do you feel that post-partum depression is stressed enough in the teaching materials provided for new parents, and monitored closely enough by healthcare providers?

Your input would be greatly appreciated! :nurse:

In my experience a woman is basically on her own until her six week checkup and then gets a quick exam to see that she is physically healed- there is very little if any focus on her emotional state or parenting. A couple of times I have had a ped/PNP notice that something is "off" in the mother and she schedules an appointment and we discover she has an infection or PPD.

I had a homebirth with my third child so I had much more attentive and in depth care than most mothers who give birth in the hospital. Home visits, a 2-week in office checkup, a six week checkup, and multiple phone calls. This is definitely not the case in most practices.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

I agree that in most cases the mothers don't get enough followup in the short term postpartum period before their 6 week checkup. In addition many new moms tend to ignore or downplay their own symptoms simply because they are overwhelmed and focused on the baby's wellbeing.

For this reason I try to make a point of including the spouse or a family member in teaching concerning normal/abnormal postpartum symptoms in mother, particularly signs of pp depression (as opposed to the normal pp hormone shifts) and signs of infection.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

For this reason I try to make a point of including the spouse or a family member in teaching concerning normal/abnormal postpartum symptoms in mother, particularly signs of pp depression (as opposed to the normal pp hormone shifts) and signs of infection.

I'm glad to hear someone else doing this - I really try to do that if I can too. I had to have someone call me on my PPD and I have a feeling I'm not alone in that. I was soooo wrapped up in taking care of my baby that I didn't notice that I was not healthy! It was actually my son's PNP (also a good friend of mine) who took a look at me and told me, "You need help. NOW."

Kind of OT, but I agree with the posts and want to add that emotional problems after birth are also difficult for a woman to come forward with even if she does recognize them. If you're familiar with the Girlfriend's Guide books she refers to a woman with PPD as a "naughty mommy" because society looks down at her for being anything but overjoyed with her baby. It's hard for someone to admit that maybe having a baby isn't what they thought and they are not happy.

Thank you all for your responses! Our clinical group discussed this at a mother-baby class we attended at the hospital where we're assigned-- the nurse there told us as much: new moms aren't really given any medical attention until 6 weeks post partum. If they develop any PPD issues, they're afraid to seek help at the risk of being seen as "crazy" or "heartless" by society, or even having their children taken away.

I'm happy to see that even if maternal well-being isn't exactly a main focus of post-partum protocol, it is acknowledged on an individual level when nurses take the time to involve and educate the members of the woman's support system. That's seeing the big picture and working to make sure that the patient's needs and risks are addressed. This, in my opinion, is nursing at its best!

These are great answers so far-- what are some other ways that nurses are seeing to these needs in their practice?

Edited by angelimrl

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