Your newborn won’t stop crying and nothing you do seems to placate her; and you haven’t showered or had a conversation about anything other than baby poop in three days. You feel like you can’t even physically leave your home. Is it just being exhausted, or is it something more, like postpartum depression?
For these moms – and all moms – Natalie Telyatnikov created Better Postpartum, an online postpartum care education program.
Telyatnikov left a career in journalism after the birth of her first child almost five years ago to pursue a new career in post-childbirth care and support, leading workshops on baby care and running playgroups at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut in Westport. It was there that she saw firsthand how needed education and support was for new moms.
“A lot of women feel like they’re falling off a cliff after the birth – sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, breastfeeding challenges,” said the Stamford native and resident.
“ So we started teaching a postpartum support group and saw how truly needed this service was. That’s what eventually gave me the idea to create Better Postpartum.”
Telyatnikov, trained in postpartum support by Postpartum Support International (a leading organization in the field), brought her resources online so she could reach a wider audience and provide the opportunity for those too overwhelmed to leave their homes to find knowledge and support.
The basic package starts at $149 for eight weeks of emails, videos, and expert articles. According to Telyatnikov, research shows that six to eight weeks of education and support can make all the difference in the postpartum period.
As the packages increase in price, online community support, one-on-one support, and special postpartum healing traditions of your choice are added. Those within 35 minutes of Stamford can elect a package that includes a visit with Telyatnikov herself. Ideally, moms would start the course while still pregnant.
“It sounds crazy,” said Telyatnikov, “but women don’t even know postpartum depression when they have it. It’s difficult to recognize it in oneself.
"I personally found myself in those shoes: I had a beautifully uncomplicated labor and delivery, but a torturous postpartum. After long stretches with no sleep, coupled with breastfeeding challenges and a general 'martyr mom' complex, my health and happiness were declining – but I didn't know I was actually suffering from postpartum depression. I couldn't put two and two together."
Better Postpartum has also teamed up with HealthRight International to raise $125,000 to correct the disparity in access to healthcare and discrimination against women of color, which has been deemed in need of urgent focus by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“The response to Better Postpartum takes my breath away,” said Telyatnikov. “For so many years women have been getting childbirth education and preparing for birth, but Better Postpartum is one of the first programs to say ‘Let's make it mainstream for women to prepare for everything that happens after birth, so that they can avoid or alleviate any challenges that arise.’”
For more information, visit Better Postpartum.
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