07 November 2009

Clinic Postpartum Care

Women at the clinic stay for 48 hours after their birth. They cannot go home until their baby is breastfeeding well and the mother has shown she can care for her baby. Some people have questioned this 48 hours saying why not go home early if all is well. As soon as the mother goes home, she is back to taking care of everyone and everything, handwashing laundry, or out in the rice fields, or picking through the garbage dump. This is a way to make sure that the mother has 2 days of food and rest before going back to hard labor.

After the baby is born, the mother stays in the birth room for a couple hours. Less if there are more women needing the room. (I heard from my friend there that they had 2 days of 8 babies each day over the last week!) There are two postpartum rooms, with 3 beds in one room, and 4 beds in another. If overflow is needed, there is an extra bed per birth room that can be partitioned off, and room for another 6 beds in the open acupuncture clinic area if needed.
The first morning, the cord is cut if it wasn't done sometime during the night, the baby is weighed, has the newborn exam, and receives it's Vitamin K shot. Later in the morning or the next morning, the mother is shown how to bathe the baby and care for the cord. At some point during the morning, all of the new mothers sit outside in the sun and nurse their babies so the babies can get some direct sunlight to help with any jaundice.

(midwife Ibu Agung Mas, new baby boy, and his mother Nyoman)

The mother is fed breakfast each morning and her family brings her food for the remainder of her meals. A mother, her husband, the newborn, and maybe another small child, will all share the twin bed together, or the men will go out and snooze on the plastic covered acupuncture tables or on one of the sofas outside. With all of the mothers together in a room, they can chat, share stories, and help each other out. The aunties and grannies share plenty of advice as well! It is also a great way to teach as a midwife can help one mother and the others will watch. Or as the pic below, my friend Kate was teaching baby massage and many mothers, and grandmothers, and children circled around to watch.

I loved going into the postpartum rooms, trying to communicate with the mothers, ooh and aah over the new babies, helping with breastfeeding, or just observe how the mothers interacted with their babies. It's the mother's special pampering time!

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At 11:44 AM, Blogger rcsnickers said...

This is great to read!!! I love the idea of singing for the birth! Interesting on how they handle the placenta. I can imagine all the happy Moms sitting around chatting. I would love that too! Q: you put 3 lg squirts of liquid chlorophyll (sp?) in her water. What was that for?

Will you be back there this Christmas?

Thanks for sharing this!


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