Why Maternal Wellbeing Matters after Birth

Twenty. 20 is the number of weeks that it took me after childbirth to feel somewhat “normal” and even that “normal” didn’t feel quite right. Pregnancy has a way of transforming your body into something that is unrecognizable leaving you with a shell of something that once was, memories and emotions all tangled together.

During a healthy pregnancy, a woman will see a medical care professional about 15 times in the duration of her pregnancy: once a month at the beginning of her pregnancy, increasing in frequency as her due date approaches. However, after a woman gives birth, she is only seen 1 time in 4-6 weeks for a wellness check. Not only are Black and Latina women at a higher risk of dying or suffering severe complications from childbirth, but they also have a higher risk of dying after giving birth. In fact, 36% of maternal deaths happen during delivery or the week after, and the risk isn’t over, 33% of maternal deaths happen one week to one year after delivery. Most shocking is the majority of these deaths are preventable.*

But it doesn’t stop there, women are also susceptible to postpartum complications, including heart disease, stroke, and infections. As you can imagine, the emotional stress of giving birth, often leads to postpartum depression.   

According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in 7 women experiences postpartum depression, a very real and serious mood disorder (Wisner, et al., 2013). Women of color experience postpartum depression at double the rate of the general population. Studies even show that new mothers of color have rates of postpartum depression soaring close to 38% compared with the 13 – 19% rate for all new mothers (Keefe, Brownstein-Evans, & Rouland Polmateer, 2016). However, women are only seen once after giving birth unless a problem arises. It is estimated that up to 60% of women of color do not receive any services after giving birth (Keefe, Brownstein-Evans, & Rouland Polmateer, 2016).  This is a crucial time for the mother’s recovery, a chance to identify some of the complications that cause really bad outcomes, and to check-in on her mental health. This is why LunaYou is so important. LunaYou is a maternal well-being program that puts the woman at the center of her pregnancy and her own body. It uses a model of wellbeing with 4 main components: Personal empowerment, circles of support, a wellbeing dashboard accessible through a mobile app, and providing trusted spaces so that she feels heard. The program works with women at all points of pregnancy from the time they enter into the program and continuing through the first three months postpartum, to ensure her wellbeing is still at the center. LunaYou empowers women throughout their pregnancy and after giving birth, with the goal to reduce the number of women that are in the grips of physical and emotional suffering.

The process of motherhood is beautiful and everyone deserves to have their wellbeing as a priority. Focusing on my wellbeing after giving birth has given me a new normal. A new normal to take my physical and mental health seriously. 

Are you, or do you know a woman that is expecting between April-December 2020? We would love to meet them and hear their story! LunaYou is shifting the way women engage in, and take action in their pregnancy by enabling wellbeing and healthy maternal outcomes.

Are you expecting and live in RI? Are you insured by RIte Care? If so, schedule a free 20 minute Virtual Wellbeing Coaching Session with Courtney. COVID-19 is isolating women now more than ever. You deserve to be heard. Schedule a Call Now.