No one wants to talk about the uncomfortableness you may experience after giving birth. Everyone wants to talk about how exciting it is to have a new baby, all the fun things you get to do like decorate the nursery, and shop for tiny shirts and shoes. The gross truth is that there are a lot of non-glamorous things your body will go through after giving birth, but it’s important to be cognizant of them and know how to prepare.

There are professionals who will be there for you to make the recovery process easier, and maybe even slightly less painful.

OB-GYN

This may seem obvious, but you need to keep seeing your OB-GYN even after you give birth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now suggests that women see their OB/GYNs within the first three weeks of giving birth. They should also have regular check-ins as needed before, along with a comprehensive visit within 12 weeks postpartum.

Your OB-GYN will check your incision, your breasts, uterus, ovaries, and cervix, and help you get back on birth control- since you’re probably not already thinking about having another baby. They will even check in with you about your general mental and physical health.

Afterbirth check-ups are usually covered by health insurance, making the average out-of-pocket cost between$10 to $50. If you don’t have insurance, you could pay anywhere from $100 and $400 for the visit.  You can expect to have at least two postpartum visits. Thankfully legislation is being pushed through so that Medicare will take care of medical visits up to a year for new moms. Check with your state as it is an option your Governor must opt-into.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
Often during childbirth, cesarean section or vaginal delivery, pelvic floor muscles can be stretched and sometimes damaged. This can lead to functional problems of the pelvic floor, which can include urinary or fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pain with sexual activity, scar pain, lower back or pelvic pain, and even the separation of the abdominal muscles. To combat this, you should see a pelvic floor specialist.

They’ll help you work out anything that can throw off your pelvic alignment, work on core strengthening and pelvic stabilization, and give you solutions to fit into your everyday routine that will help with any pelvic floor related issues.

The average cost of a physical therapy visit can range from $20 to $350 per session. The average visit with insurance is $30, and without insurance is $125. Some women might only need to come in for one or two sessions. If there are extensive injuries or a high level of pain or dysfunction, you may need several months of physical therapy.

Lactation Consultant
Whether this is your first baby or fourth, breastfeeding can be difficult. Lactation consultants are trained professionals who help new moms overcome breastfeeding challenges. They can offer you peace of mind and help you find the most successful way to breastfeed that works for both you and your baby.

A lactation consultant can address issues like poor milk supply, breast pain and sore nipples, trouble latching, finding a comfortable nursing position, refusal to feed, poor infant weight gain, falling asleep at the breast, problems pumping breast milk, and even engorgement.

Lactation consultants typically charge by the hour and range from $75 to $450, depending on location. Some health insurance plans cover this fee, so you should look into whether you have coverage. You can expect to have at least two visits: your initial prenatal consultation, and a check-in if any problems arise. 

Therapist
Your hormones are raging, and you may be feeling anxious, overwhelmed, happy, and a plethora of other emotions. Having a therapist help you navigate through this new stage in your life is great so you can keep a refreshed perspective.

If you’re experiencing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, excessive worrying, or if you have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, you may have postpartum depression (PPD). It’s important to find a good therapist or counselor who can offer support and treatment.

Therapists are armed with the tools to get you through this period. They will help normalize symptoms, answer any questions about PPD, teach coping mechanisms, and explore any issues, past or current, that may be contributing to depression.

The average cost of therapy is $20 to $250 per session. If your health insurance covers visits, rates average from $20 to $50 per session. Research suggests some people only need three visits to achieve worthwhile benefits, but you can make it part of your weekly or monthly routine if you feel it benefits you.

Don’t push off your own physical and mental health when caring for your newborn. There are teams of specialists that can help you get through just about anything. Take a deep breath and remember, you don’t have to go at this alone.

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