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The Overlooked Gap in Maternal Healthcare: Postnatal Care Disparities

The Overlooked Gap in Maternal Healthcare: Postnatal Care Disparities
Rachel Kelly, MSOTR/L, PCES, CBS, CCST-I

As a mother of two beautiful daughters, my journey appeared to be somewhat “typical.” With my first pregnancy, I found an OB associated with the hospital I wanted to deliver at, I had pretty regular pregnancy, I was told I “could” take some course, where I was then directed to the hospital to take a birthing course, I went to what seemed to be a billion doctors appointments, I was pricked what felt like several times, I peed in endless cups, I delivered and then went home. Between the delivery and going home I was overwhelmed by the amount of random strangers (medical strangers) who felt that they had to keep checking me, touching me, getting my blood pressure, asking me to go to the bathroom, oh and don’t even get me started on the hospital noise, beeps and dings and people oh my! 

Just as quick as delivery went, so did the hospital stay. Miraculously they handed me this perfect baby and off we went. No instructions or book to reference. In fact right after delivery my OB turned to me and said “great job, now this is about to feel like a bad breakup, see you in 6 weeks.”

Doesn’t it seem odd that there is NO follow-up care after birth? Well, besides that one ten-minute 6-week checkup chatting about birth control and clearing you for “$exx + exercise”. Cue the eye roll 😉 

Let’s take a bit of a dive deeper and really look at how this process looks. 

Prenatal appointments for mother = 8-12 visits 

Babies first year of life = 6 – 8 visits 

Postnatal appointments for mother = 1 visit 

Still scratching your head? THIS right here shows us the MASSIVE gap in our healthcare system. What happens to the mother? Are we forgetting about mothers? The short answer… YES. However the bigger question may appear as a question you may not have asked yourself or even thought about, are we somehow, maybe unintentionally creating a series of unnecessary pelvic floor dysfunctions, but labeling them as a “normal part of childbirth?”

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world to date, however our medical system presents as one of the worst maternal health follow-up programs, statistics, and postpartum care compared to other countries. Taking a moment to compare birth methods and healing time is eye opening, let’s check it out:

BIRTH METHODS TIMELINE FOR HEALING
Vaginal Birth (no tearing or 1st degree with no stitches) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”
Vaginal Birth (2nd degree tearing with minimal stitches) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”
Vaginal Birth (3rd or 4th degree tearing, multiple stitches, significantly impaired) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”
C- Section (7 layers cut, sutured together) 6 week checkup & “all cleared”

 

Do you see anything wrong? Possibly a gap in treatment? Let’s discuss this, if you were to need rehabilitation on your ankle, how many sessions of rehabilitation therapy would you need? I know the answer isn’t 1!

These statistics are what laid the groundwork for Nurtured Pelvic Health & Wellness. Aside from being interested in learning more about the pelvis, the GAP in care drove me to take the approach of learning more, taking an abundance of continuing education credits and becoming outspoken to better fill the gaps and support moms like you!

Making the leap from institutionalized OT to pelvic floor quite literally saved my entire occupational therapy career. PLUS, falling into a passion is way better than falling into a “good job”. I am here to say we are conquering pelvic floor dysfunction at the source, helping moms feel confident in returning to exercise, and most importantly providing YOU with the tools in your toolbox to feel empowered, educated in your rehab AND allow you to recover. 

Schedule your free consultation or discovery call TODAY!

Website: https://www.nurturedpelvichealthwellness.com/

Phone: 201-338-0727

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