During pregnancy, there tends to be a heavy focus on labor and birth, with far less emphasis on what happens when you get home.
I was obsessive about preparing for labor throughout my first pregnancy — to the point that there was no room to think about what would happen afterward. My plan was to read up about all things postpartum after I got through the birth.
I regretted that decision when I got home, which marked the start of an anxiety-induced insomnia that lasted two weeks. It felt like one ridiculously long day in which the sun kept rising and setting.
My main activities during that time included:
- Obsessively searching the internet for information about breastfeeding as tears streamed down my face
- Hallucinating that my baby was injured
- Dreading the pain/gore that accompanied every trip to the bathroom
And then there was the overwhelming, judgmental narrative running through my head: I am definitely screwing this up. I am definitely doing this wrong.
But — it doesn’t have to be this way.
This is why, when we received a suggestion that LAist should do a story about how to prepare for the postpartum phase, I was like, YES.
We talked to a doctor, doulas, a home visitor, and a lactation consultant, but the first step was talking to all of you. We asked if anyone wanted to share their experiences — from the ghastly to the glorious — and over 70 of you responded with stories that were raw, candid accounts of those first weeks after birth. We also have been texting with those of you who are pregnant and listening to your biggest questions about birth, recovery, and early parenthood.
And while there are some common themes, everyone’s postpartum phase is different. Every parent is different. Every infant is different.
The wild journey to parenthood doesn’t need to be a mystery. A little bit of real talk and preparation can make all the difference in the first few weeks of this major life transition. Below is a collection of your stories, some tips from the experts and a blueprint for preparing for the postpartum phase.
We’re producing a special series of guides on pregnancy, birth, and new parent life informed by your questions and experiences. Over the next few months, we will tackle:
- Advocating for yourself during pregnancy
- Planning for family leave
- Preparing for the postpartum phase
- Choosing child care
- Where and how your voice can be heard as a parent
Still have questions?
We launched a pregnancy text service called “Hey bb,” run by real humans at our nonprofit newsroom, where you can ask journalists the biggest questions on your mind. We share local resources and invite experts to answer your questions about pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.
Join by texting “heybb” to 73224.
What Good Postpartum Support Looks Like
Many countries and cultures have practices to ensure new parents get the rest they need after giving birth.
There’s the Latin American custom called la cuarentena, a period of 40 days of rest, or the Chinese zuo yue zi, or “sitting the month,” a month of staying inside the house, abiding by strict rules, and eating a special diet. Many countries have over a year of maternity leave or provide maternity nurses who visit your home.
But not here. In the United States, nearly one in four employed mothers return to work just two weeks after giving birth.
“Our society is not set up to care for us and to give us time to care for our babies in the way that we need,” says Dr. Sayida Peprah, a psychologist who specializes in maternal mental health. “If you feel like you need more help, unapologetically get help. Don't feel like you should be able to do this by yourself.”
Our society is not set up to care for us and to give us time to care for our babies in the way that we need.
The gaps in our systems of care, however, are not destiny.
“These are things that are very normalized, but they don't have to be what people experience,” says Stevie Merino, doula and executive director of the Birthworkers of Color Collective. (LAist contracted with Stevie Merino to answer questions as a guest expert on our Hey bb texting service.) She says there's so much stress and fear in the U.S. around birth and postpartum, and yet she has attended many births, and has seen many people have recovery and breastfeeding journeys where they are very supported. The difference happens when people have the tools.
ThaooAishat HaSati, who is a birth worker and mother of five — including a 2-month-old — says she decided that with her youngest, she made a plan “to have all of it.”
With financial support from the Victoria Project and the Sugar Heal Gang, she was able to cover nearly all of her expenses for midwifery care and also hire practitioners for postpartum support, including postpartum doula care, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and pelvic floor therapy. Because her husband has a busy work schedule, a friend also came to stay at her place in Lakewood for two months to cook and help with her other four kids.
“One thing that was really, really helpful for me,” HaSati says, “is having the mindset to know that I needed to slow down and I needed to release a lot of control.” She says as a mom — or even as someone who’s used to operating in control of her life — it took a lot to step back, be OK with the kids’ rooms being messy, and have others do things around the house, even if they don’t do them exactly the way she does.
She says the experience has been like night and day compared with her recovery after she had her first son. At the time, she was in her 20s, and even though she had roommates, they didn’t know how to support her and she didn’t know how to ask for help. “It feels amazing,” she says. “Because I know what it's like to not have support.”
First: Build Your Community
Peprah recommends having someone visit or be there every day — for at least a month — to help take care of you and the baby.
She says the level of support you get affects your emotional state and ability to cope with the tidal wave of changes during this period.
When planning for your basic needs during this time, consider these issues:
- Recovery. You may have mobility limitations whether you have a cesarean birth or a vaginal birth. Who will help you get around and bring you what you need?
- Sleep. You will be feeding the baby every two hours. Who will take care of everything else at home in between so you can sleep or rest?
- Meals. Who will be cooking? Who will actually be ordering food? This may mean assembling a meal train to have friends and family deliver food to you.
- Breastfeeding support. If you decide to breastfeed, many new parents need help.
- Emotional support. Who can you weep to or text at 2 a.m.?
- Returning to work. If you do work, how will your workplace accommodate you when you return? (See LAist’s guide to family leave for tips.)
“I would advise new mothers going into it to plan your postpartum better than your birth,” says Oakland mom of a one-month-old Carina Lieu. “I don't know if it's the product of living in a competitive society, but one of the things that annoys me about pregnancy is how much everyone tries to pull off an image of having a great time … postpartum is really hard.”
Many new parents talked about the saving grace of supportive partners, parents, and friends. Reader Maya Iñigo-Anderson in Pasadena told us, “The absolute life saver that helped me to become my old self again… was my family and my friends — the forever loyal, way-back-when friends and also new friends from my Mommy and Me group.”
Put Your Partner To Work
If you have a partner, seeding communication during pregnancy can help lay the groundwork for how they can support in the postpartum phase.
“For a lot of partners, the baby doesn’t seem real until they can see the baby,” says Kimberly Durdin, midwife and founder of birth center Kindred Space. “Because they aren’t the person experiencing the physical symptoms of having a baby.” (LAist contracted with Kimberly Durdin to answer questions as a guest expert on our Hey bb texting service ... She also happens to have been one of my midwives when I gave birth to my second child during the pandemic.)
She suggests having your partner come with you to prenatal visits, being present for ultrasounds, and taking a childbirth class together. After birth, she suggests lots of skin-to-skin contact with the baby, which can shift their hormones and help them bond with the baby.
Specific asks are key. It can sometimes be frustrating when partners or support people aren’t able to intuitively jump in to support. Rather than getting upset with them, it can help to be ready to go with a list.
“I ask pregnant people to write a list of all of the things that they think they’ll need help with during the postpartum period — walking the dog, taking care of other kids, getting groceries,” says Durdin. When someone asks how they can help, she says you can grab the list and ask them to do something on it.
Sasha Ali in El Sereno had a cesarean birth during the pandemic and during her recovery found herself with a respiratory infection. (A persistent cough while healing from a c-section? It’s a LOT.)
She says what helped was having a supportive partner who was cool with doing everything, from helping her get in and out of her underwear to doing all the work to care for the baby aside from nursing. She also saved up to hire a night nurse, which helped them both get crucial sleep in the early days as she recovered.
Preparing For Physical Recovery
What happens to you physically after childbirth can look and feel alarming, but it can be an indicator that your body is doing what it should be doing to heal. (Of course, do not hesitate to call your doctor to confirm, or if you think there might be a problem).
“The biggest question I kept asking myself was, ‘Why didn't anyone tell me?’” writes Manhattan Beach reader Kiki Burger. “You feel like you prepare with books, classes, a baby shower, etc., but what you really need for yourself and your own healing is never talked about! It's crazy that friends don't even tell other friends. I'll never forget leaving a 2-day-old home and driving in basically a diaper to CVS to try and find more of the products I needed. Spoiler alert: CVS doesn't carry them.”
Your uterus has to go from the size of a watermelon to the size of a lemon over the course of six weeks.
“People wonder, what the heck is going on here?” says Dr. Margaret Lynn Yonekura, director of L.A. Best Babies Network and a high-risk OB specialist. Cramping, for example, she says, is a normal thing to experience as you breastfeed and your uterus shrinks.
“Actually, that's a good thing," she says. "Your uterus has to go from the size of a watermelon to the size of a lemon over the course of six weeks.”
Many sites provide detailed descriptions of physical recovery — the specifics for you will depend on your birth experience, whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section, and what particular things happened during the birth.
The important thing to remember is that childbirth is a very big deal, it takes time to recover, and you will need help to get the crucial rest you need.
“Essentially there’s an open wound in the uterus about the size of a sandwich plate,” says midwife Kimberly Durdin. “If you had a wound that size on the outside of your body, would you rest? You probably would.”
Here are just a few areas that will need time to recover — and other things to keep in mind:
- Perineum: If you have a vaginal birth, you’ll likely feel pain in the space between your vagina and your rectum. This will vary depending on whether you had an episiotomy or a vaginal tear — and how many stitches you received. Ice, pain relief spray, and sitz bath can all help with the healing process.
- Constipation: The first bowel movement after birth can be intense. Things that can help are eating foods high in fiber, avoiding foods that constipate, drinking water, and taking stool softeners.
- Hemorrhoids: These can appear during pregnancy and from pushing during labor, and they can be worse if you had them before. You may need Tucks or pads soaked in witch hazel.
- Cramps, bleeding and vaginal secretions: As your uterus shrinks back to its original size, you’ll feel cramping, accompanied by bleeding as your body gets rid of the blood and tissue that was inside your uterus. It’s heavy and can include blood clots.
- Incision: If you have a cesarean birth, you will feel pain internally and at your incision. To prevent infection, you will need supplies to protect and care for the incision. You will also need to to do things like hold a pillow against your abdomen if you have to cough or sneeze. Depending on the type of stitches, you might need to return to the doctor’s office to remove them.
- Circulation: It will be important to walk around after a C-section to prevent blood clots.
- Sex: This may be one of the last things on your mind. But also it’s not allowed for your health. It can interfere with your perineum healing in the first four to six weeks. Sex after a cesarean delivery is also prohibited until cleared by your doctor, typically after a six week follow-up appointment.
- Fatigue: Just reading this list is exhausting. And after childbirth, your body will be tired. You will have also lost a lot of blood — typically more if you have a C-section. You will start immediately feeding your baby every two hours. You will be tired.
"As midwives, we say, the first week after birth, we want you in the bed," Durdin says. "The second week we want you around the bed. The third week we want you near the bed.”
She says you can create a “bed island.” You can set up your bed so you have everything you need around you: diapers and wipes, a remote control to the TV, snacks, water. This way you can comfortably care for your baby and yourself and then go to sleep.
Some people advise creating your own recovery kit to help with your comfort, and to make sure you have the supplies you want and need at the ready. Some people will also tell you to take home any supplies that aren’t bolted down in your hospital room — diapers, ice packs, oral syringes, mesh underwear, gauze, etc.
Preparing For The Feels
Physical recovery is rough. Emotional recovery can be an even bigger battle.
Many new parents think they will feel an immediate attachment to their baby after birth, and worry when they don’t feel that instant bond.
“When they placed my baby on me after birth I didn't even know what to do,” Marina Del Rey reader Stacy C. says. “I wasn't crying like I thought I would be and I was holding this slimy alien creature asking the nurses to take him off of me.”
She says it took weeks, but little by little she began to bond with her baby and her love for him continues to grow exponentially.
Sonia Torres works as a parent educator for The Whole Child, which is one of several home visiting programs in Los Angeles County that deploy coaches to visit moms during pregnancy and after birth, throughout early childhood.
“There's a stigma of, ‘I have a baby, I have to be happy. I have to feel good about it,’” Torres says. She says new parents worry when they have thoughts like, "‘I'm a little sad. I'm worried.’"
It pains me to not have known that it was not OK that I felt lost and helpless.
It’s totally normal to feel a whole range of emotions, and many of these came up in the stories new parents submitted.
Many explored themes of inadequacy (i.e., I’m not doing this right), comparison (i.e., why does it seem so easy for other parents I know?), permanence (i.e., oh no, my life is now like this FOREVER), and loneliness. Others also talked about dealing with the massive identity shift of becoming a new parent.
Intersecting life events or dynamics can compound the emotional stress of the postpartum phase.
Trans people often have a complicated experience with the medical system. Our goal is to use affirmative language. One example of that is in use of the term "chestfeeding." While the Trans Journalists Association does not take a stance on alternatives to the word breastfeeding, here, we defer to the National Institutes of Health, which writes:
"The term chestfeeding or bodyfeeding can be used alongside breastfeeding to be more inclusive. Nonbinary or trans people may not align with the term breastfeeding because of their gender or may have a dysphoric relationship to their anatomy. Chestfeeding will not replace the word breastfeeding, but it should be included as an option when discussing lactation."
Some new parents spend the early weeks of their baby’s life with them in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). LGBTQ+ parents sometimes have to negotiate rigid gender roles or gender dysphoria, particularly for nonbinary people and trans men when breast or chestfeeding. (Side note: Merino says to search for gender-affirming providers. She says it’s important for people to know that it IS possible to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have someone there who can advocate for you.)
It’s also not uncommon for new parents to have to negotiate family and partner relationships, job changes, and housing instability.
Gloria “Becky” Alvarez, in North Hollywood, says that when she became a mom at 16, she was undocumented and in an abusive relationship. When her second child was born, she was homeless.
“My postpartum experience was filled with shame and fear — basically a sink or swim situation,” she says. “I share this because today I look back as a current college student and it pains me to not have known that it was not OK that I felt lost and helpless. I hope my story is useful to moms who did not finish high school. It is possible.”
Anxiety And Depression
Sometimes a birth is traumatic, or doesn’t go as planned and the early weeks can mean the beginning of processing difficult events.
Mom ThaooAishat HaSati describes the birth of her first son as traumatic. She experienced painful back labor, and during a last attempt to turn the baby, her midwife brought in an OB-GYN who suggested she should have a C-section, which went against her plans. Later, the midwife instructed her to push when she wasn’t ready. HaSati says she felt rushed, unheard, and uncared for, and because she did not trust her provider, she ended up making decisions that made her recovery process harder. Then when she had a lack of support in the weeks after birth, she experienced postpartum depression. She says it wasn’t until years later that she was able to fully process how deeply the whole experience affected her.
In cases like these, Peprah says it’s helpful to talk through your birth as soon as you can with someone who was there with you and can help confirm the facts and answer questions. This can help paint a fuller picture of what happened and perhaps resolve feelings of self blame.
Intense crying is also common in the postpartum phase, particularly within the first couple of weeks. However, if it persists, it may be a sign that you need more support.
Peprah says another sign is if you worry about being alone with the baby, and feel a heightened sense of anxiety when others leave the room or the house.
As LAist previously reported, one in seven moms deal with some form of postpartum anxiety or depression, though because many people do not report it, this number could be much higher.
“I wish someone had told me there is no ‘normal,” says Carmen Boatwright, a Chatsworth mom of two, who experienced panic attacks after the birth of her second child. “What is OK for you and baby is OK. And if something doesn’t feel right, no one can say it’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing. I wish I had talked to someone about how I was feeling early on, instead of ‘powering through.’ Women, and even more so women of color, are charged with and expected to carry the load, suck it up and be strong. I wish someone had said it’s OK to feel weak and vulnerable and you’re not the first to feel this way.”
She says one of the best resources for any new parent, regardless of whether you are feeling big emotions, is to seek out other new parents. There are support groups for new parents throughout the city (see resources below) — some you pay for a series, and others are free or low-cost. In all such groups, new parents share their experiences, resources and information.
Many parents shared that having other new parents to text with was particularly helpful. Sasha Ali, who had her son during the pandemic, said she’s in two text groups with new moms. “Especially if I was feeling some kind of way, it was nice to be able to text some close people, like, ‘This is how I'm feeling right now’ … and just having someone to witness that.”
Sharing stories can help you feel like even though you’re in it, you’re not alone.
Learn How To Breastfeed (Even While Pregnant)
Another thing to prepare for: how exactly are you going to feed this baby?
As LAist previously reported, it’s not easy:
There is no shortage of boob science about the nutritional benefits of breastmilk and its role in reducing the risk of developing things like diabetes and asthma in kids. For moms, it's linked to a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers. In short, it's healthy.
There's also no shortage of reasons why some women don't breastfeed. Some women don't want to do it. Some don't because of work. For others, it's not physically possible. It may not be an option at all for adoptive parents, women who've had surgery on their breasts or radiation, or who have hormonal conditions.
Many new parents shared their stories about the shock of realizing the magnitude of the difficulty of one of the most central human activities.
In the first few days, your boobs go through an incredible transformation. Whereas initially you might be panicking from the few drops of colostrum that drip out, all of a sudden, at day three to five when your milk comes in, your breasts are enormous and as hard as rocks.
“I remember walking around with exposed giant, shiny, engorged boobs,” says reader Katrina Valliere. “I was so miserable from the pain. I tried pumping, warm showers on my back, cabbage leaves ... Nothing worked but time.”
And then, if you are trying to breastfeed, you have to figure out how to get that milk from your breasts into the baby.
Depending on how your baby is latching, this can be painful and challenging.
“Two nights after we got home from the hospital, baby was irate. She was at the breast but it was obvious from her cries of distress that she was hungry,” says Tustin reader Beth Biron. “I lost it. Insane with sleep deprivation and mom guilt, I bawled while whispering to the baby how sorry I was that she had me for a mom, and how much I wanted to be better for her. My husband found us just like that on the couch at 2:30 in the morning.”
Just because you’ve done it before doesn’t mean it’s always easier the next time.
Andrea Carrasco recently had her fourth child, but she still struggled with breastfeeding initially. She gave birth to her youngest son in Long Beach just shortly after lockdown began in 2020, and returned home to her three older children all at home, in need of support with homeschooling, while her husband, an essential worker, went back to work. All these stresses compounded as she struggled with breastfeeding — her son wasn’t gaining weight.
Because of pandemic changes in the hospital and at WIC, she wasn’t able to get the support she needed from a lactation consultant. By week three, she had to supplement with formula.
Her support at the time was social media, where she learned about a technique called “power pumping.” It took a couple of months, but eventually she was able to increase supply so she could drop the formula. She ended up breastfeeding him for over a year.
Carrasco’s message to parents-to-be: “This, too, shall pass. This will pass. It's going to get better.”
One of the most important things parents-to-be can do to prepare for the postpartum period is to get some kind of breastfeeding education, says Brandi Jordan, a pregnancy and postpartum expert and board certified lactation consultant. She says you can get it through a class or by having real and honest conversations with friends and family members.
“It can feel like what you're experiencing that first seven to 14 days is what it's going to be like forever, and it really isn't,” Jordan says. “Things open up around three weeks, which can feel like an eternity if you don't know.”
There is often a lot of concern at first about whether the baby is getting enough. But, says Jordan, “If you know from your prenatal breastfeeding class that your baby pretty much needs about a teaspoon of milk in that first 24 hours, the moms are less concerned if they see just a few drops coming out of their breasts.”
When it’s hard, ask for help. Ask a friend, a family member, a board certified lactation consultant, or all of the above. (Jordan says don’t be surprised if your OB's may not have all the info you need around breastfeeding because that may not be their specialty.)
You Can Do It. You’re Doing It Already
We received lots of advice from the stories you submitted. Of course, some advice contradicted other advice — e.g., “Stay off your phone!” “Google is your best friend!” And that’s because, again, every person is different. But the overwhelming sentiment was the same.
You will get through this, as millions all over the world have done before you. And you’ll come out stronger than you ever knew you could be.
“I wish someone had told me that the child that will be in your room with you after delivery is your child. Your baby. No one else's,” San Diego reader Hailey Persinger says. When you don't feel respected by a doctor, she says, demand a new one. Call for a lactation consultant if you think it will help. If a nurse's advice doesn't work, trust your instincts.
"You know more about your baby than you think you do," she says. "Trust yourself.”
These resources were recommended by California birth workers and families. Have a suggestion? Email email@example.com.
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline - Free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
- National Maternal Mental Health Hotline - 24-Hour hotline for pregnant and new moms at 1-833-943-5746 (1-833-9-HELP4MOMS).
- Postpartum Support International (PSI) - Free, confidential support before, during, and after pregnancy. Responses within a few minutes 24/7 at 800-944-4PPD (4773).
- Maternal Mental Health NOW - Hosts a directory of providers and services in L.A. County and a self-help tool to help navigate the emotions of the transition to parenthood.
- Therapeutic Play Foundation - a Pasadena-based non-profit created by Black mental health professionals that provides mental health services, support for birthing people and community gatherings.
- BreastfeedLA – Provides education and outreach to promote and support breastfeeding in Southern California. Find resources on their map of local breastfeeding resources.
- CinnaMoms – Support circles for Black birthing people hosted at WIC centers in the L.A. area, with the goal of breaking down barriers to breastfeeding.
- La Leche League – Peer support groups for breastfeeding. Find a local meeting.
- Kellymom – Breastfeeding information site run by international board certified lactation consultant Kelly Bonyata.
- National Women’s Health and Breastfeeding Helpline – Run by the US Department of Health’s Office of Women’s Health, breastfeeding peer counselors are available to talk between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET at 800-994-9662.
- Soul Food For Your Baby – Black-led breastfeeding support groups.
Doulas / Postpartum Support
Doulas provide expecting and new mothers or birthing people with educational, emotional, and physical support before, during, and after a baby is born. Postpartum doulas’ services can include cooking, help around the house, and various healing modalities. Pro tip: many postpartum doulas are available pro-bono while they are seeking certification.
- What Do Doulas Do? – LAist’s guide to doulas, including a list of resources to find a doula in Southern California.
- Birthworkers of Color Collective – A collective of birth workers of color providing trainings, workshops, and healing offerings for birthworkers, pregnant people, and their families.
- DONA International – Doula certifying organization that includes a search tool to find prenatal and postpartum doulas.
Many support groups and parent and me classes exist throughout Southern California, and the best way to find one is to search online for groups in your area. You might also find these groups through your hospital or places where you find breastfeeding gear. It sometimes helps to look for activities you enjoy (eg. yoga, swimming, dancing) and see if they have “baby and me” classes.
A few places to start:
For Black Parents-to-Be
- What Pregnant Black Women Need To Know To Have A 'Safe And Sacred Birth' – LAist’s guide for Black birthing people.
- AAIMM Doula Program – LA County Department of Public Health runs a program offering free birth doulas to Black birthing people.
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) – A national organization focused on Black emotional health care and healing that offers peer support groups, trainings, and grants.
- L.A. County Black Infants and Families Community Action Teams – Antelope Valley, South L.A./South Bay, San Gabriel Valley and San Fernando Valley/Santa Clarita- based groups that meet to discuss how to end Black infant and maternal deaths and share resources.
- Parenting For Liberation – a virtual community founded by an Orange County mom that “connects, inspires, and uplifts Black folks as they navigate and negotiate raising Black children within the social and political context of the U.S.”
- Sugar Heal Gang – A collection of Black healers who provides grants through their Black Maternal Health Fund to cover maternity care services.
- The Victoria Project – A fund for birth care outside of a hospital setting (home birth & birth center) to families within Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.
For Partners / Fathers
- Black Daddy Dialogues – Support group for dads raising Black children, every second Saturday of the month.
- Love Dad – Home visits to fathers and their children throughout L.A. County
- The Expecting Fathers Group for Black Dads – Support group for Black soon-to-be fathers and provides education, support and navigation tools for the prenatal, labor and delivery, postpartum, and early parenting.
Loss / Grief
- 'Just Try Again' And Other Things Not To Say - LAist reporting on miscarriage and loss, including a list of local and national support resources.
- Compassionate Friends – Support for parents dealing with loss.
- L.A. County Grief Support Resources – A list of resources for parents and families dealing with infant and fetal loss, service planning area (SPA).
- MISS Foundation – 24/7 online crisis support and long term aid to families after the death of a child from any cause.
- Open Path Collective – Sliding scale therapy.
- Our House Grief Support Center – Open to the community. Fee based on a sliding scale.
- Sisters in Loss – Doula Erica M. Freeman is dedicated to “replacing silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility of Black women” and hosts a podcast and a virtual support community.
- 211 – Information and referrals for all health and human services in LA County, including a query for “parent programs.”
- Home Visiting Programs – L.A. County has several free programs with home-based visits to support families with new babies, available depending on hospital, zip codes, and other criteria. First 5 LA gives an overview of the “Welcome Baby” program and participating hospitals. Look up which home visiting programs you might qualify for in the L.A. County home visiting program directory.
- PHFE WIC – Breastfeeding support, healthy foods, and connections to additional financial and social support services for low-income parents.
LAist Associate Editor Lisa Brenner and early childhood reporter Mariana Dale contributed to this report. It was also informed by Hey bb review committee members Maternal and Child Health Access parent coach and psychotherapist Denise Cervantes and California Black Women’s Health Project senior manager of maternal and reproductive health Raena Granberry.