Postpartum Support for New Families in Berlin29 March 2023 | After Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H
As a new parent, it’s completely normal if you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed yet excited all at once. Everything is new and you are just learning to find your roles in this new family construct and to take care of each member of the family, whether new (ie the baby) or existing (ie the parents).
If you’re about to have your baby or just gave birth, here’s a great starter article on how to organize your Wochenbett (ie the early postpartum period).
Here are some more ways that can make your life easier with contributions from doulas Keatyn Jayne and Julie Meresse, which we gratefully included.
Some require a financial investment while others are free or covered by your health insurance. Some are practical while others provide emotional, physical ormental support – you will know best what you need!
Consider getting your groceries delivered, perhaps even in pregnancy when it’s not comfortable to carry such heavy loads. For example, REWE and Edeka have their own delivery services or obergudt offers package-free grocery delivery with a deposit system.
Meal preparation services
Consider ordering healthy prepared foods via a postpartum meal delivery service such as our partner Mama Muun. Alternatively, a postpartum doula could make a healthy meal for you at your home.
I would also like to add SuperMamas here. SuperMamas is a volunteer network in Germany, Belgium and Czech Republic where mothers help out new mums in their city who just gave birth – by providing freshly cooked meals and (perhaps even more importantly) a little chat.
Now may be the right time to get some help around the house such as by hiring a cleaning person. A postpartum doula can also help around the house (doing laundry or light cleaning) but they are, of course, not to be confused with a cleaning person.
Under certain circumstances, if you encounter difficulties after your baby is born, you may receive help at home, which can be paid for by your health insurance. Learn more.
Finding a person of trust who can help with the baby is such a valuable resource for new parents. This can be a family member, friend, babysitter or nanny.
Ask your midwife for support or contact La Leche Liga, an organization that provides free or donation-based information and support to those who want to breastfeed their babies. A chiropractor can also be a great help when feeding challenges occur (and it’s not a tongue tie).
Sleep is such a huge topic in any new parent’s life. Don’t struggle alone, ask your midwife, pediatrician or doula for support. Here’s an article on the topic of baby sleep.
Join a postpartum exercise class to gently strengthen your body – and meet other new parents. You may also like to book a postpartum massage to alleviate any aches or pains and get some much-needed self-care.
Support for Families with High Needs Babies
SchreiBabyAmbulanz offers help to expecting and new families with kids up to the age of three, who cry a lot, sleep little and are hard to calm. Help is also provided to mothers who are suffering from a difficult birth experience and/or postnatal depression. Here’s a list of skilled volunteers by neighborhood who can help.
If you are looking for support with different tasks around the house, such as help with the household chores, babysitting or meal preparation, there are a few “allrounders” who can help:
One is a Mütterpfleger*in (maternity nurse), who will provide regular help to families for the first weeks, paid for by the health insurance. Stay tuned for our article on this important topic!
Postpartum doulas also offer holistic support to new families. You can learn more about how doulas work in this article.
Finally, you can request the help of a volunteer through the wellcome program, which offers low-cost help by neighborhood for families in their first year of their child’s life.
Check out the family centers near you – many of them provide both playgroups/classes as well as free or low-cost advice on many topics, from breast-feeding, to family counseling, rental agreements and more.
Are you curious about how doulas support families during pregnancy and the postpartum period? And how does this differ from the work of midwives? Read on to find out.
Did you know that you could get at-home support (called "Haushaltshilfe") after your baby is born and that this can be paid for by your health insurance? Postpartum doula Julie Meresse will tell us everything we need to know about this topic, tailored specifically to families living in Berlin.