In the spirit of my article Postpartum care and Eastern concept of “doing the month” in this article I am listing different types of care/help you can turn to during the postpartum period.
- Partner: Talk to him. Let him know what you need from him and were he needs to take over after the baby is born.
- Friends and family: If possible ask your family or friends to help you with cooking, cleaning and taking care of your older kids. Sometimes family can stress us out. It is important to think through who you would even ask. You don’t need extra stress, you need an understanding hand.
- Online community can represent a great source of information and support. In Berlin there is a great Facebook group for Expats “ExpatbabiesBerlin” also “Supermamas Berlin” whose concept is to bring new mums in touch with more ‘experienced’ mums who live in the same neighborhood. Mums bring food, gift, and support to new mums. The new mums returns a favor to another new mom in the neighborhood at a later time.
- Hebammen (midwives) offer pre and postnatal care. During the postnatal period (“Wochenbettbetreuung”), insurance will cover up to 26 visits for up to eight weeks after the birth. During these visits, she ensures that both the mother and baby are doing well. She will answer all questions regarding baby and you and will give suggestions if you will need specialized help. Here you can find the Hebamme list. In the search engine you can enter wanted area, language and type of care.
- Familienzentren: All round Berlin there are Familienzentren. Each Zenter offers a variety of activities, support or help to young parents and families. Write to Zentren in your neighborhood to find out what they can do for you. Here you can find a list.
- Aufsuchende Elternhilfe is meant for Families during the pregnancy and untill the child’s 1. year. The staff members of the Aufhilfe Elternhilfe provide support and health advice, social counseling, they can run errands, take care of older kids, accompany to the pediatrician and assistance in dealing with authorities. Help is free of charge. For more information turn to Kinder- und Jugendgesundheitsdienst des Gesundheitsamtes in your districts or contact organization directly, HERE.
- Help through volunteers: Various projects, such as „Wellcome“, „Känguru“, or „Berliner Großelterndienst“ offer families help by trained volunteers. These offers are mostly free. For more information look at their webpages.
- Home help as a health insurance benefit (“Haushaltshilfe als Leistung der Krankenkasse”): If the discomfort exceeds the normal level after birth (caesarean section, a multiple birth, premature birth, postpartum mental health issues, problems with breastfeeding) there is the possibility that your health insurance company will cover the costs of household help. You need to go to your doctor (Hausartz) and get a prescription where they state why and to what extent support is needed. You will need to pay 10% of the daily fee yourself – but not less than 5 euros and not more than 10 euros per day.
- Paid help during pre/postnatal period: cleaner, babysitter, doula, sleep consultant, lactose consultant, pelvis floor consultant.