The Importance of Medical Care for a First-Time Mom

By Charlotte Pence Bond

Getting the right medical care can make all the difference when you are a first-time mom. This is important before, during, and after pregnancy. The postpartum period can be difficult when mothers do not have the care they need. Many mothers do not know how to ask for it. It’s important to familiarize yourself with potential issues that might arise beforehand so that you are prepared to advocate for yourself.


As a first-time mom, I had many questions about what pregnancy would be like and what I should or should not be doing. My doctor always took the time to listen to my concerns and answer my questions during and after my pregnancy, never making me feel silly for asking them. My doctor’s office is also unique in that it offers ultrasounds at many of my routine prenatal appointments. Many women only see their baby on an ultrasound screen a few times. But the ability to see my baby moving – her arms and legs, her heart beating, was an incredible gift to me as a new mother. If possible, I would encourage moms to seek out care where the medical staff performs multiple ultrasounds. Not only does it reassure new parents to see their baby wiggling on a screen, but it reinforces the excitement of carrying new life.


I was also fortunate to have a lactation consultant available at the hospital after I gave birth to assist with breastfeeding. Nursing can be tricky at first. The mom and baby are both figuring out how to do something they have never done before. Lactation consultants are helpful after a baby is born, but it was extremely beneficial for me to be able to reach out to mine after we took my daughter home. During the first few days, I felt as if breastfeeding was going well, but there were moments when latching was difficult. My mom encouraged me to text the lactation consultant. After I did, the specialist gave me some advice that worked well to fix my issues.

Mental Health

I like to do a lot of research and prepare for something ahead of time, especially a big life change like having a baby. Before I gave birth to my daughter, I took a course on childbirth, as well as a course on how to help a baby sleep. I collected pregnancy books and books about caring for a child. My pregnancy and delivery went well, as did my physical recovery. Something I didn’t plan for, however, was the possibility of struggling with mental health after I gave birth. I, along with many other postpartum mothers, grappled with anxiety and intrusive thoughts once my daughter was born. When I stopped nursing and pumping, I also struggled with post-weaning depression. Thankfully, I was aware of these issues. I was prepared with the knowledge that it might happen to me, too. When I go through a postpartum period in the future, I will be sure to prepare for this ahead of time. I won’t hesitate to get the help I need.

Postpartum Care

Postpartum care is extremely important, but women typically only see their doctor at the six-week mark. There is a feeling that postpartum visits should be as routine as prenatal visits. Even if this is not the norm at your doctor’s office, you should not hesitate to reach out to your doctor for any concerns during your postpartum period.

The healing process for women after giving birth varies. Many women feel better after six to eight weeks, but it may take months for other women. It’s important to understand that you may need something different when it comes to postpartum care. Listening to your body’s physical signs and emotions can help you heal fully and successfully. Even when your body feels physically restored, the mental impact of fluctuating hormones can linger for months. This is why continuing a relationship with your healthcare provider is vital to get the care you need.

A woman’s body goes through immense changes during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. As a first-time mom, it is normal to feel as if everything is changing all at once and out of your control. But you do have control over your medical care and how you utilize those resources. You won’t regret advocating for yourself and prioritizing your needs during this special time in your life. Taking care of yourself is not only necessary for your health, but it will also benefit your family.

Read more by Charlotte Pence Bond.


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