Why New Parents in the U.S. Need Better Postpartum Care

January 17th 2017

Shonitria Anthony

"The American system is setting moms up to fail."

This is what one new mom, Laura Perlongo, said in an ATTN: video about postpartum care for new parents in the United States, which is falling behind other countries.

Nev Schulman, Laura Perlongo

Parenthood doesn't come with a manual. Within the first few weeks after bringing baby home, parents are often faced with a number of issues:

"But often in America, your only professional postpartum care is one doctor's visit a month and a half after birth," said Nev Schulman, Perlongo's fiance, in the video, which was posted by ATTN: in November.

The couple, who had a baby girl named Cleo, broke down the importance of accessibility to specific services after the birth of a baby.

"Postpartum maternal health care influences the health of both mothers and their children; however, it is not adequately provided for or emphasized in national policies or national health objectives in the United States," according to a 2006 report from the Journal of Perinatal Education.

"In places like Iceland, Germany, and the Netherlands, every new mom has access to in-home care for one to eight weeks after birth as part of her basic health care plan, and guess what? In those countries, the infant mortality rate is about half of that in the U.S.," Perlongo explained.

"Plus, it's good for moms, too," Schulman said.

"In Sweden, where midwives do home visits for four days following birth, postpartum depression in mothers is about 15 percent, compared to 30 percent in America," Schulman added.

Approximately one in eight women will experience postpartum depression after having a baby, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website. In order to aid new parents — especially moms — the Journal of Perinatal Education recommended the following in its report:

"Routine postpartum health screening and insurance coverage for these visits should not be limited to six weeks; rather, they should be extended to one year postpartum. In addition, the time of postpartum visits should be flexible and based on the needs of the new mothers. In this way, mothers can arrange their time by convenience, and the clinic visits can meet their real needs."

Check out the full ATTN: video below on why Americans need better postpartum care.