Shorter length of stay for postpartum mothers and their newborns necessitates careful community follow-up after hospital discharge. The vast amount of information given during the initial postpartum period can be overwhelming. New parents often need considerable support to understand the nuances of newborn care including newborn feeding. Primary health care and community services need to ensure there is a seamless continuum of care to support, empower, and educate new mothers and their families to prevent unnecessary hospital readmission and other negative health outcomes. The Healthy & Home postpartum community nursing program provides clinical communication and supports to bridge the gap between acute hospital and community follow-up care through home visits, a primary health care clinic, a breastfeeding center, a breastfeeding café, a postpartum anxiety and depression support group, bereavement support, and involvement in a Baby-Friendly Initiative™ coalition. Nurses working in the program have the acute care skills and resources to complete required health care assessments and screening tests. They are also international board-certified lactation consultants able to provide expert breastfeeding and lactation care. This paper describes how the Healthy & Home program has evolved over the past 25 years and offers suggestions to other organizations wanting to develop a postpartum program to meet the physical and mental health needs of postpartum families to promote maternal and infant wellbeing.
Olson, T., Bowen, A., Smith-Fehr, J., & Ghosh, S. (2018). Going home with baby: Innovative and comprehensive support for new mothers. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 20. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1463423618000932