Universal Needs of All Mothers

There are three universal needs of childbearing women, no matter who they are or where they live.

First Need:

A companion or spokesperson through pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum year

All women deserve these fundamentals of care and concern, but these needs are frequently unmet. Unfulfilled expectations about being emotionally and physically supported can lead to stress and distress. As a support person listening to these concerns and answering questions, I have an opportunity to fulfill some of her expectations and at least meet the first need. For those who contact me, I become their temporary companion and friend, albeit a long -distance and anonymous one. As part of the healing process you must find someone with whom you have or can develop a trusting relationship such as the baby’s father, mother or a mother -in -law, a mother substitute, another family member (especially a sibling), or a friend.

Second Need:

Supportive and trained professionals

Often a woman’s midwife or obstetrician fills this need, at least until the baby’s delivered. In the best cases, a new mother receives excellent care both physically and emotionally from this professional even after the baby arrives. This ideal situation is referred to as “continuity of care,” and is the key to providing optimum health services.

After delivery, the pediatrician or family physician may be a mother’s main professional contact. The baby is usually the focus of attention, but you should expect that this professional also expresses an interest in you. Has he or she asked how you’re coping? All professionals must acknowledge that without a healthy mother, there can’t be a healthy family!

Third Need:

A time and place to share pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences

Lastly, a new mother must be encouraged to speak about her pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences. This simple need is rarely met. In most communities, it’s difficult to find an appropriate forum for nonjudgmental listening and sharing. The transition to parenthood can isolate our families from one another. This is not acceptable, you deserve to feel the joy of being a parent. Help is available through organizations like Postpartum Support International.

Help is available on the Steps to Wellness page.