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Hey Parents — How To Prepare For The Period After Baby Is Born

An overview of an illustrated shows a person with an infant and various supplies.
Parallel napping on what midwife Kimberly Durdin would call "bed island."
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The postpartum phase can be The Great Unknown to birthing parents because they don’t know how they might feel — emotionally or physically — after giving birth to a new life.

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Well, thank goodness for my colleague Stefanie Ritoper. She, a parent herself, wrote a guide on what the postpartum phase is and what support after birth is truly supposed to look like. One of the most important things that you must do as a birthing parent is RECOVER.

Let me tell you, friends. The physical trauma is serious. I’ve learned so much about the things you actually need after having a baby from reading Stefanie’s article.

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For example, did you know that your uterus goes from the size of a watermelon to the size of a lemon over the course of six weeks? Just so you know — this is why women might experience cramping, noted Dr. Margaret Lynn Yonekura, the director of L.A. Best Babies Network and a high-risk OB specialist.

“Essentially there’s an open wound in the uterus about the size of a sandwich plate,” explained midwife Kimberly Durdin. “If you had a wound that size on the outside of your body, would you rest? You probably would.”

A Black woman lies asleep on her side, with a pillow between her legs. Next to her, her baby sleeps in an infant cushion in the same position. They are on a bed strewn with pink sheets and various cushions and breast pads.
Parallel napping on what midwife Kimberly Durdin would call "bed island."
(Courtesy of ThaooAishat HaSati)

Stephanie also wrote about her own anxiety-induced insomnia that came with searching for how to take care of her child after giving birth for the first time.

Help For People Caring For Newborns

Her most important message: You don’t have to go through that. There is help available. 

So how do you prepare for the postpartum phase? Well, she wrote a thorough, straightforward guide to help you during this stage.

Not only did she and the early childhood education team talk to experts like doctors, doulas, home visitors and lactation consultants, they also talked to experts like you. They’ve been listening to your concerns about this new season in your life and have been sending you the best help to get your questions answered through a texting service called Hey bb.

A Black woman in a white medical jacket assists a woman with light-tone skin and an infant.
Brandi Jordan (right), a pregnancy and postpartum expert, says one of the most important things parents-to-be can do is to get some kind of breastfeeding education.
(Courtesy Brandi Jordan)

This postpartum guide is just one part of a special series of guides surrounding pregnancy, birth and being a new parent informed by Californians’ questions and experiences. These guides aim to help birthing people advocate for themselves, plan for family leave, choose child care and so much more.

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Read Stefanie’s article to learn more about:

  • What good postpartum support looks like 
  • Building your support community for at least a month 
  • Putting your partner to work 
  • Preparing for physical recovery 
  • Preparing for the feels that come after birthing your little slimy human 
  • Anxiety and Depression 
  • A Plethora of Additional Resources for Postpartum Support 

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • In a Sunday evening shocker, Disney announced the ouster of CEO Bob Chapek and the return of former head Bob Iger. That news came just month's after the Disney board had offered clear public support for Chapek. What changed? One major factor is almost certainly a terrible earnings report this month.
  • Following the election (and scandal last month), nearly half of the Los Angeles City Council is now brand new to the governing body. It’s ideologically diverse and there’s possibly new voting blocks. Here’s a deep dive into the differences this council will bring. 
  • Kelly Gonez, L.A. Unified School Board incumbent, announced her second term win on the board for District 6, but her opponent Marvin Rodriguez hasn’t conceded. Meanwhile, Rocío Rivas also declared victory over María Brenes for the District 2 board seat. Votes are still being counted. 
  • The L.A. County District Attorney’s office decided not to press criminal charges against a Sheriff’s deputy caught on tape kneeling on the head of a handcuffed man for three minutes. The DA’s memo stated “...the amount of force used was not excessive” based on the evidence. The officer had been assaulted by the suspect just before. But there are allegations that Sheriff Alex Villanueva tried to cover up the video
  • Where’s all my World Cup fans at? I know you’re ready for the always greatly anticipated fútbol games this year (even though this year’s Cup is ripe with controversy). Here’s some places in L.A. where you can watch your favorite team. 
  • For Ashley Chetla, the experience of attending a Hispanic Serving Institution in California fell short. Not only was it a challenge to find adequate academic advising, she had a hard time finding Latino counselors and professors.
  • A suspect is in custody after at least five people were killed and many more injured in a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As of Sunday night, a motive was not yet determined.
  • In the past few weeks since billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter, the company has drastically lost a majority of its staff. Musk has also warned of possible bankruptcy. That leaves many Twitter users left thinking: is a complete Twitter shutdown possible?
  • Speaking of Twitter, Elon Musk reinstated former president Donald Trump’s Twitter account after polling users over the weekend. Twitter was the first social media platform to prohibit Trump after accusations that he “glorified violence” to supporters during the U.S. Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
A group of people are standing outside watching another group of people holding the Mexican and Korean flags
Get in on the celebration that is watching the World Cup
(Alex Sasayama
For LAist )

Wait! One More Thing...The Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

THREE — Colorado Springs Club Q Shooting 

The mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado that left at least five people dead happened Saturday night, just hours before #TransDayofRemembrance, a day that honors transgender people who were killed in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Several people took to social media to to express anger and frustration that yet another mass shooting has been allowed to occur. Voices included acclaimed professor and writer Roxane Gay, Prism’s Editor-at-Large Tina Vasquez and actor George Takei who wrote about their feelings on the attack on the LGBTQ+ community.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Club Q was safe space for LGBTQ people in Colorado Springs before the gunman opened fire.

TWO — Funeral Services for Shanquella Robinson and a new update for her case. 

Ever since news broke that a 25-year-old North Carolina woman was found dead in Mexico on a trip with her friends on Oct. 29th, social media has been in an uproar. Funeral services for Shanquella Robinson took place this weekend and coverage went viral. The FBI and Mexican authorities have now opened an investigation into her death.

ONE — It’s Time For the World Cup!

The World Cup has got people talking. The opening ceremonies were Saturday night and from BTS’s Jung Kook to Morgan Freeman, it was apparently quite a show. Here’s a round up of social media responses from ESPN. For the BTS fans out there, a new single debuted and Freeman’s appearance, well, was a little polarizing, depending on who you ask. Also not lost on the social commentators out there, Qatar spent a lot of money to get ready for these games, but it could not buy a competitive soccer team. Qatar lost to Ecuador Sunday 2-0. Looking to watch in L.A.? Remember, we've got you covered.

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