January 12, 2024

Postpartum Period

There is a lack of continuous care during the postpartum period in South Africa; many women birth in a clinic or hospital and are sent home with their new baby with little idea of how to recover and take care of a newborn.

In the Western Cape, postnatal services and care become available after the mother and her newborn have been discharged from the MOU or Clinic. This usually happens six hours after the birth if both mother and baby are in good health. Visit your nearest clinic for postnatal care within 3 days after discharge from the birthing unit.

The mother's health is regarded to be as important as that of the newborn. Mothers are examined at the clinic on follow-up visits to check that the uterus (womb) has returned to its original position. The clinic staff will also offer mothers counselling on available contraception /family planning options.

Some women struggle with the demands of being new mothers and clinic staff are trained to assess them to see if they are suffering from the "baby blues", Post Natal Depression or Post Natal Psychosis. If there is a problem, the mother may be counselled, given medication or referred to secondary or tertiary hospitals for further assessment or treatment.

For more information on clinics available in your area click on this link


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