Beyond the birth plan….

I remember the two pink lines.

I remember telling our parents.

I remember the baby showers.

I remember walking into the hospital with contractions thinking, “Chris and I are walking in, just the two of us. And we are going to walk out with another little person in a couple of days…..What have I done???”

I don’t remember much after that. The time after taking the baby home from the hospital is a whirlwind blur of tears, sleepless nights, and love beyond measure.

Our first child, our daughter, is now a 19 year-old college student. I still remember looking down at her newborn swollen face in complete and utter awe. 

All the books for expectant parents are geared towards planning for the birth, which we did. I drafted a cute little birth plan that I think I ended up forgetting to take with me when I went into labor.

Because I was a fourth year medical student looking to match a pediatrics residency, I had a pediatrician picked out for our daughter when she was born. My parents came up to stay with us for a couple of weeks when we were discharged from the hospital, but beyond that we had not planned very much.

Chris and I had failed to avoid a classic first-time parent pitfall.  We had planned for the birth, but not postpartum.

“Planning for a birth and not postpartum, is like planning for a wedding and not the marriage.”  — Dr. Michelle Haggerty, Founder/Owner of Fourth Trimester Doc 

Fortunately, my mom was with us. She ended up being my post-partum doula, my lactation consultant, and baby expert all rolled into one magical person that would have fresh chopped fruit for me as soon as I woke up in the mornings and take the baby for a couple of hours so I could sleep. My dad would help clean, go to the grocery store, and take care of things around the house while Chris and I were sleep-deprived zombies.

I did not realize at the time the valuable guidance and support she gave us as new parents was a privilege to which most do not have access. After practicing as a pediatrician for the last 18 years in a variety of setting including inpatient service, newborn nursery, and outpatient clinic, I am all too familiar with the lack of support and preparation many new parents face.

I believe in empowering patients and families with knowledge. When I founded Culver Pediatrics Center, one of my goals was to prepare families for the post-partum period before their baby arrives. I believe prebirth planning results in breastfeeding success and reduces stress in new parents and families.

While drafting a birth plan is certainly important, I believe it is even more important to plan for post-partum life such as:

  • Who will do the laundry?
  • Who will cook and wash the dishes?
  • Who will provide respite for the exhausted parents?
  • Who will the parents call if the baby is sick during the middle of the night or on a weekend?
  • What should the family do if one of the parents is feeling overwhelmed?
  • Where will the family turn to seek breastfeeding support and information?
  • Who will the family call if they have questions on a baby product?
  • How do I know if my baby’s movements are just normal newborn behavior or something serious? 

 

    The Newborn Cocoon Program

    The first few months of parenting are the most challenging. This is when families need the most support from their pediatrician. I developed the Newborn Cocoon Program to have the freedom to deliver the highest quality level of care newborns and their families need during the intensive parenting time soon after birth. We help families prepare for the “marriage”, the time after the baby arrives.

    • Enrollment starts before the birth of the baby
    • Services last through baby’s third month
    • Services include:
      • Prenatal virtual visits to discuss medical concerns, prenatal history, and plan for breast/chestfeeding
      • After-birth planning guidance including respite, household management, childcare, nutrition, community building, physical movement, and outdoor therapy.
      • Lactation induction in non-gestational parent upon request
      • Prenatal Newborn Preparation Curriculum (online slides)
        • Healthy Pregnancy
        • Breastfeeding
        • Baby Basics 101: What To Expect At The Hospital
        • Baby Basics 102: Routine Newborn Care
        • Baby Basics 103: Signs of Illness
        • Virtual Question and Answer Session upon request
      • Care coordination with the newborn hospitalist after baby is born
      • Baby’s first check-up on the day of hospital discharge or the next day in the comfort of their home
      • Unlimited home visits for newborn wellness, weight checks, jaundice management, lactation support
        • Typical visit structure: hospital follow up newborn check, 2-3 weight/jaundice checks, 1-month wellness, 2-month wellness/immunizations, 3-month discharge visit
      • Unlimited direct access to Dr. Adame by phone, text, Telehealth during and after hours
      • Immunizations at 2 months of age (oral Rotavirus, Hib, Prevnar, and DTaP/Polio/Hep B combo)
      • Frenotomy (tongue-tie release) if medically indicated
      • Referrals to resources such as post-partum doulas, newborn photographer, a wellness coach, lactation consultants, and pelvic floor physical therapists. We help families navigate the complex health care system and make informed decisions about their care.
      • After the three-month visit, family has the option to continue concierge services with Culver Pediatrics Center by rolling over to the Little Caterpillars Program before baby reaches 4 months of age or they may transition to a new pediatrician
      • Fax medical records to new pediatrician or email records to family
      • Phone discussion with new pediatrician for seamless transition of care

    While I cannot go to each Cocoon family’s home to have fresh cut fruit on the kitchen table each morning like my mother did for me, I can guide families to strategize for the best possible physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual outcomes for their baby and themselves.

     

    We can be reached by email info@culverpediatrics.com for more details about our Newborn Cocoon Program including inquiries about cost.

    We aim to be the best pediatric practice in Marshall County, Lake Maxinkuckee area, and the state of Indiana. If your child is not yet part of the Culver Pediatrics family, sign up in the email opt-in below to learn more about our boutique pediatrician services.

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