Is this a normal request from midwives? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 01-14-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So this is my third pregnancy with my first home birth and midwife. Yesterday I had my appointment and was told they do not want me leaving the house and do not want me doing anything like cooking, cleaning, etc for two weeks. Their reasoning was my three focuses should be bonding with my baby, breast feeding, and getting proper nutrition for breast feeding. Has anyone else ever been asked to do this?

 

(I'm not complaining and in fact I am kind of looking forward to it..but just seems odd)


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#2 of 32 Old 01-14-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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Was it a suggestion or more of a "you don't need to do this" kind of attitude. Mine never told me that. It's a good suggestion though. I've also heard of people talk about 5, 5, 5. 5 days IN bed, 5 days on the bed and 5 days around the bed. Meaning you don't get out of bed for 5 days except to shower or use the restroom, the next 5 days you do things from your bed, basically not laying there resting but you are still on the bed taking it easy, then the next 5, you do what you need to, but stay near the bed. So that you don't overdo it. I felt amazing after my HB and was up and about the next couple days, doing what was normal for me. Then about day 3-4 I crashed hard. I was exhausted, felt like I was coming down with the flu, sore etc. I didn't leave my bed for at least 3-4 days after.

 

This time, while I don't get to have my HB, I plan to not do anything for 2 weeks if I can. I think it makes the recovery process faster and efficient.

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#3 of 32 Old 01-14-2014, 05:18 PM
 
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Yeah, I think it's excellent advice.  Actually, after how rough I had it after #4, my dh and I planned that on our own with #5.  2 full weeks of nothing, plus 4 more of barely anything.  Your body just really needs to heal, especially after the more babies you have.

 

(I didn't get it, by the way.  Life happened, but every second of rest I could have, I took, and it helped SO much.  It still took me MUCH longer to recover with #5.  Like, well over a year to feel myself again.)

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#4 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 02:13 PM
 
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I think mine said 1 week. I stayed in our bedroom a lot only nursing and changing diapers, sitting on the couch in the evening for a change of scenery. By week two I took up laundry and getting myself quick snacks, but my husband did most everything else. It's good advice, try to arrange plenty of help and get your ducks in a row before baby comes.

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#5 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Was it a suggestion or more of a "you don't need to do this" kind of attitude. Mine never told me that. It's a good suggestion though. I've also heard of people talk about 5, 5, 5. 5 days IN bed, 5 days on the bed and 5 days around the bed. Meaning you don't get out of bed for 5 days except to shower or use the restroom, the next 5 days you do things from your bed, basically not laying there resting but you are still on the bed taking it easy, then the next 5, you do what you need to, but stay near the bed. So that you don't overdo it. I felt amazing after my HB and was up and about the next couple days, doing what was normal for me. Then about day 3-4 I crashed hard. I was exhausted, felt like I was coming down with the flu, sore etc. I didn't leave my bed for at least 3-4 days after.

 

This time, while I don't get to have my HB, I plan to not do anything for 2 weeks if I can. I think it makes the recovery process faster and efficient.

It was "who is your pediatrician because we need them to understand we don't want you leaving the house for two weeks for them to double check everything we did." They seemed pretty set on it. 

 

Good to know others think it's a good idea though!

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#6 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 02:42 PM
 
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Not odd at all around these parts.  Mine gave it to me as a very strong suggestion:  "I want you to really take the time to recover well."  She likes the 5 days IN bed, 5 days ON bed and 5 day AROUND the bed, with a total 41 days taking life as easy as possible.  

 

I had a long recovery phase for my 1st birth - 6 months until I could walk without aches and pains and 4 years of healing organ prolapse.  So I took her advice and this time I was amazed at how good I felt at 6 weeks pp.

 

Before she gave me the 5,5,5 advice, she said she found the best statistics for maternal and baby health post partum came from countries where moms basically cared for baby for 6 weeks and other adults did all the cooking, cleaning, house care and childcare.  She's been at more than 400 births and feels her own experience gives weight to her recommendations too.  She warns against doing too much even if you feel great.  She said to just let all those great feelings soak in and save the energy for later when folks are not bringing food or offering extra help.  MW also said to let my bleeding be a guide:  heavier flow or spotting after stopping bleeding is a sign I did too much and to take it easy for a few more days.  That advice helped a lot.

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#7 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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I wouldn't love the suggestion. It was not something I was able to do with either kid, for ordinary life reasons that make me question the practicality of the advice. And it leaves a bad taste with me that they want this rest to preclude you from establishing standard care for the baby with a pediatrician.

IMO, the biggest reason for a newborn well visit is to establish your baby as a patient that it's possible to have phone consults and sick visits about. Otherwise, you wind up in the ER for situations where you could potentially have had an office visit for. Like jaundice.

Some women think that stay at home time sounds great, and some think it sounds like a recipe for PPD. It seems like something it might be wise for midwives to keep something of an open mind about.
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#8 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 03:02 PM
 
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I dunno. I do think it's valuable to take it as easy as possible, but all of our out-of-house visits in the first week were pretty necessary--doctor visit for baby, ER visit for baby, breastfeeding support group, buy a breast pump, orthopedic visit for baby's congenital hip problem. Hopefully with the next one we'll be able to pare down that number of visits. I think it's more important to be like, don't be up and around and cleaning/cooking just because you feel pretty good. Save your energy and do only the essentials. 

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#9 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't love the suggestion. It was not something I was able to do with either kid, for ordinary life reasons that make me question the practicality of the advice. And it leaves a bad taste with me that they want this rest to preclude you from establishing standard care for the baby with a pediatrician.

IMO, the biggest reason for a newborn well visit is to establish your baby as a patient that it's possible to have phone consults and sick visits about. Otherwise, you wind up in the ER for situations where you could potentially have had an office visit for. Like jaundice.

Some women think that stay at home time sounds great, and some think it sounds like a recipe for PPD. It seems like something it might be wise for midwives to keep something of an open mind about.

Oh sorry I guess my wording could have made it that way. They only meant if something was wrong or could potentially be wrong. If I have an easy birth and baby is perfectly healthy (midwives come back couple times a week during the two weeks to check on baby) then in their opinion no need to leave.

 

For me it will be very easy to stay home if everything is okay and not clean. My husband will be there and in laws. And while I don't EXPECT anything out of them when I told them what the midwives said their response was "awesome because that is what we will be there for" And I am going to do things I love to keep me occupied (I love to draw etc and drawing is very relaxing, calming for me)

 

Though I do agree it is something they need to also be open minded about! 


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#10 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 04:20 PM
 
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And it leaves a bad taste with me that they want this rest to preclude you from establishing standard care for the baby with a pediatrician.
 

 

The 5,5,5 advice was never to preclude visits to the pediatrician.  More like what Erigeron wrote.  I was lucky to already have a family doc.  No need to establish a new relationship in that vulnerable time just after birth.  My midwife provided in-home newborn well checks for the first 2 weeks and readily recommended a visit to the pedi for jaundice with the one baby that needed it.  Midwives have good working relationships with docs around here.  I am very grateful!

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#11 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 05:27 PM
 
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It was "who is your pediatrician because we need them to understand we don't want you leaving the house for two weeks for them to double check everything we did." They seemed pretty set on it. 

 

Good to know others think it's a good idea though!

The worst thing about recovery from my first birth was the way the ped had me going out over and over again to monitor bilirubin (he had a pretty normal case of jaundice which made him sleepy and interfered with nursing, the solution was time to relax and focus on getting milk into him though). My afterpains and bleeding were made terrible by all the car travel and waiting rooms and walking. One trip to the Ped is do-able, more than one outing or very long outings should not have to happen. Household chores shouldn't be for you to do for at least a week. Be especially careful the first 3 days because you might feel incredible but it's the hormones making you high and if you overdo it you will regret it.

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#12 of 32 Old 01-15-2014, 09:59 PM
 
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How often will the midwives come afterwards? They can assess most baby stuff, like weight, jaundice, breastfeeding- maybe one pedi visit to establish care (as PP noted), but unless there 's an issue, that's enough IMO
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#13 of 32 Old 01-23-2014, 08:57 PM
 
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I've heard of the 5-5-5 rule and am doing a variation of it this time (5 days in/on the bed, 5 days around the bed). We didn't plan anything like this for my first as I thought Id bounce right back. It was waaaaaay harder than I thought and I couldn't do anything for 10 days. I don't know what I would have done if my mom didn't stay with us to help. I wish my mw would have prepared me more for this. Maybe your mw just want you to be prepared so you don't go planning any trips to Disney land. Also, this time I'm not letting anyone visit for the first 2 days, then grandparents only for 1.5 hours max every other day until 10 days. Those first few days of having people hang out for hours on end are brutal and I won't have it again.
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#14 of 32 Old 01-24-2014, 02:47 AM
 
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One of the main reasons I planned a midwife birth with my second was to avoid newborn pediatric care. With my first we had a seven day well baby check up. Then at 9 days babe was in ICU. I believe from something he picked up from well baby check. Two weeks later as we leave the hospital 3 different "experts" say it's 3 different things. What a welcome to motherhood. Get your rest. Let the midwives come to you. Dr relationship can wait.
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#15 of 32 Old 01-24-2014, 08:03 PM
 
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Little-known fact: when you get to the doctor's office you can request to be roomed right away, rather than waiting in the waiting room, and often they will do so. That would be a good strategy for those who are concerned about a newborn picking up some bug when they go to see their pediatrician. 

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#16 of 32 Old 01-24-2014, 08:16 PM
 
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Thanks. Too little too late. Why don't they set it up this way?
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#17 of 32 Old 01-24-2014, 08:22 PM
 
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I think probably because it would be impractical to room everybody, so they just keep it under their hats. I learned about it when I interned at a doctor's office. I asked for this with our daughter when she was a newborn, and we did actually end up having to switch rooms, even, but got what I wanted out of the experience, which was a private place to sit and nurse/change her while we waited to be seen. 

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#18 of 32 Old 01-24-2014, 09:04 PM
 
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I guess it's nice that with my midwife I get the special care without having to know all the secrets.

This actually makes me dislike dr offices more. But thanks for the info. Maybe I could have prevented 2 weeks in the ICU if I only knew the code.

I still want my homebirth. DC2 came early and we had 2 weeks NICU with lung development.

But anyway OP stay home and bond with babe and refuel. Let others take care of you so you can take care of LO.
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#19 of 32 Old 01-24-2014, 09:56 PM
 
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Totally normal. My midwife would not even allow any family over for a quick peek for several days. Both midwives came to do home visits on day 1,3,5,7, and at the 2 week mark. Week 4 and 6 was at their clinic. But they were strict about not leaving the house for anything else, which was fine by me as I had a horrible recovery time, and it was the dead of the freezing winter. It was so worth it to just relax with baby and not stress about doing anything (I was very fortunate to have my mom staying with us to cook and clean) next time around I'm hoping to stay out for the traditional custom of 40 days postpartum. Many countries around the world viewable postpartum period as sacred and a time for mama to rest and heal, shutting out the world for a while. I realize we can't all enjoy this privilege but if you have the opportunity, take it! Your body will thank you.
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#20 of 32 Old 01-25-2014, 02:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome thanks for all the tips! I was able to see a holistic family dr (who specializes in kids since 85 percent of her patients are kids) who backed up my midwife. Assuming all goes well I am excited to stay with my baby for two weeks. And do fun yet relaxing things with my older kids..I am hoping this will be a nice bonding time with them, too.


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#21 of 32 Old 01-25-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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Yep. My midwife wants me to stay home and recover for first 10-14 days. Nothing strenuous - no stairs even. I am birthing in the sitting room outside our bedroom. I've got a mini kitchen set up (fridge/microwave/kettle) with food and tea to eat pp so I don't need to leave the floor. Midwife will do home visits to check on baby and I.

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#22 of 32 Old 01-25-2014, 09:38 AM
 
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our midwives recommended it too. They also did home visits for the first two weeks, and didn't hand over care to our GP until six weeks.

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#23 of 32 Old 01-25-2014, 01:25 PM
 
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Echoing what the others said, yes recommendations for as much rest as possible is a stardard of midwifery care and they should be doing several postpartum and newborn checks on you and babe. However, if you want to establish care with your child's doctor, certainly feel free to do that whenever you are ready.

 

With an OB they don't do any care for the baby once birth happens so it is expected that you will need to follow up right away with a doc. Our family doc told me 2 weeks was a good time with my last one, but I ended up going after two days because she had some slight jaundice and was not peeing. (ETA: She was my only planned hospital birth baby so no midwifery care.)

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#24 of 32 Old 02-02-2014, 05:50 PM
 
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With my first I was able to take it easy for a while, but I haven't been able to with my next two because I had to care for the others (and my spacings were 23 months and 23 months so I still had needy toddlers when I delivered- this spacing will be 27 months so I will have a 6, 4, and 2 year old). With my first I bled for 10 days and then had very light lochia. With my second two I bled for a LOT longer and was still spotting at 6 weeks. But you do what you have to do, right? Like this time again my husband won't be able to take any time off so I will put my newblett in the ring sling and try and go about my day while cutting corners and sitting down as much as I can. But my toddler will still need diaper changes and I will have to lift in and out of high chair and crib. hopefully she will be willing to walk up the stairs on her own for bed and naptimes! but at 27 months, I'm not sure! kids will need baths and help dressing. my older kids will need me to make their meals and snacks and sit outside with them while they play. there is no way I can spend a day in bed!

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#25 of 32 Old 02-02-2014, 06:17 PM
 
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tapioca, this kind of scares me, since in those first days after each baby my condition would go from fine to needing help badly or being useless in minutes sometimes, suddenly weak and starving, from happy to crying or not thinking straight, pretty much passing out sleeping over and over again, suddenly bleeding heavy when I was only spotting mostly, things like that. And it was just normal healing and recovery. If you can have family or friends check on you several times a day, come help with your kids, do the chores, anything at all, I hope you do. Have abundant snacks and drinks handy for you and the kids, little to no prep stuff and disposable dishes, keep them contained with toys, books, screens, easy crafts where you won't have to chase them, and change and feed them on the floor/bed/couch instead of lifting them. Skip baths and just wipe them off when messy for a few days or save it for dad at the end of the day.

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#26 of 32 Old 02-02-2014, 07:48 PM
 
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Yeah, have dad do baths or don't do them (or just do every few days and wipe faces and hands in between, how dirty do toddlers really get around the seams?) Change the toddler on the floor. Forget the high chair and let them eat grapes and crackers and cheese sticks from a bowl on the coffee table or other table at suitable height while standing. If at all possible, get the toddler in a toddler bed before the new baby is born, and then they can climb in on their own. 

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#27 of 32 Old 02-02-2014, 11:57 PM
 
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It's an odd request for sure, but they're right. You should be focusing on resting, healing and bonding, rather than being here, there and everywhere.


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#28 of 32 Old 02-19-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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Honestly, I wish that someone would have said this.  My baby was born 7 years ago.  I left the hospital exactly 48 hours after my C-section.  I was exhausted, in pain, and it was evening (icing and snowing also, mind you).  I wish I would have stayed one more night, and used the nursery.  I also wish I wouldn't have been so concerned about coming home and getting the housework done.  I was in the middle of refinancing the house, and when I got home from the hospital, the checks were there, so I sat down, and paid all of the bills.  My baby slept soundly in his car seat.  Then I spent a ton of time playing with my dogs, who had not had a whole lot of human interaction while I was in the hospital.  The next day, my in-laws from Indiana came to stay with me.  I was expected to be up and around, and hosting them, including cooking and doing dishes.  (They even told me once that they were bored.)  They left, and two days later, I had all of the flooring in the house replaced.  I was up, talking to the contractors, etc., with my baby in my arms.  So, what happened?  I ended up with Bell's Palsey (which the doctors contributed to the stress that I went through right after giving birth).   I also ended up with an infected C-section incision.  Not sure that was totally related, but I know it would have been so much better if I would have been resting and spending time with my baby.  Oh, and I had NO breast milk.  None.  Not a drop.  While I haven't heard this as a normal request, I wish to God that I would have had someone tell me this. I wish I would have spent more time in bed, less time doing household "stuff," entertaining my in-laws, etc.  If I could do it all over again, I would change so many things.   

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#29 of 32 Old 02-19-2014, 02:33 PM
 
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I'd say it's a pretty normal request, and it's for your own (and your baby's) benefit. Also, some midwives purposely say things like this in front of your partner so that your partner knows beyond a shadow of a doubt how important it is to take care of you and let you rest, instead of thinking you're just being lazy and acting like a princess. Hopefully, no woman who has just given birth would be in an situation like that, but most midwives have seen enough of the good, the bad, and the ugly to know that not every woman automatically receives the physical and emotional support she needs after birth.

 

Even if you're feeling great soon after birth, you still owe it to yourself to rest absolutely as much as possible. From my own experience, even though my husband is very supportive and helpful, I still repeatedly came down with mild-to-severe mastitis for months after the birth of my third child, and it was always triggered by stress or trying to do too much. 


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#30 of 32 Old 02-19-2014, 07:41 PM
 
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Yes! I am so grateful to my strong willed midwife for making it clear to not only me, but everyone around me that this was an absolutely necessary practice. She even threatened to extend that time if she did not like how I was recovering. She liked to remind us that I had a wound in my body the size of that placenta she will show you Soccer ball or so. Wouldn't you allow yourself time to heal if that wound were on the outside? Do it and soak it up. It does get trying at times to have people do everything for you, because there is no way they will do it all right, but it is one of the many opportunities in the parenting journey to learn to let it go. Enjoy!
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