The first 12 weeks after childbirth are chock-full of physical, mental and emotional changes. It’s intense, and—oh yeah—you’re also juggling the needs of a brand new helpless human being. Your body is healing from either a vaginal birth or c-section and your hormones are all over the place, meaning feelings of anxiety and sadness can emerge at any moment. It’s a lot to manage—but the fourth trimester is a marathon, not a race.
Whether you’re a new or experienced parent, you’ll quickly realize that babies require an “all-hands-on-deck” approach. Of course, not everyone has a built-in support system. That said, for a pretty penny, you can get all the help you need (and maybe more!). Willing to splurge on your postpartum experience? Here are five of the best postnatal services money can buy.
What do most new parents want after a new baby arrives? Prepared meals, a full night’s sleep and some well-deserved down time to regroup and recharge. A rising trend that meets this lofty goal? Postnatal hotels—like the new Boram Postnatal Retreat at the Langham Hotel in New York City. For a hefty sum, new parents can experience ultra-pampering care, high-end amenities and full-time childcare in a seriously glamorous setting. You’ll have a round-the-clock care team that specializes in your unique postpartum needs and those of baby. Services include reflexology for rest and recovery, sitz and foot baths for detoxification and balanced meals planned by certified nutritionists and prepared by award-winning chefs.
In short, your body and mind will be nurtured from the moment you arrive until the second you begrudgingly depart, a little wiser and more confident about newborn care and postpartum healing, thanks to educational workshops and experienced specialists. “We have an amazing care team of postpartum doulas, baby specialists and certified nursing assistants that came from major hospitals in maternity and child labor,” says Boram Nam, cofounder of the Boram Postnatal Retreat. Think of it as an extension to your hospital stay—but with a Duxiana mattress and without the constant interruption of someone drawing your blood or emptying the wastebasket.
Easing the transition between hospital and home, a postnatal retreat ensures that you don’t have to face your postpartum recovery without structured support. That said, you don’t have to go straight from the delivery room to your designated retreat suite. There’s an option to check in at any point on your postpartum journey—because the recovery process is long, and the learning curve is too.
Cost: You can expect to fork over quite a bit for this opulent option. Prices at the Boram Postnatal Retreat start at $1,305 per night. But, then again, you can’t put a price tag on a healthy and smooth transition into parenthood.
Imagine having a personal chef in your home to prepare and serve you health-boosting smoothies, broths and snacks? While you’re busy preparing bottles, nursing or pumping, your personal postpartum chef can get to work whipping up delicious and nutritious meals to fuel your tired body and recharge your overworked mind. Better yet, they may even do your grocery shopping. Didn’t know this specialized service existed? It’s a budding trend—and it’s stopping many a new mom from frozen subsisting exclusively on casseroles and processed pre-packaged goodies.
“We have menus to increase, decrease and keep breast milk flow steady, as well as a self-care menu for those focusing on reclamation,” explains Tiana Tenet, co-founder of The Culinistas, a private chef company that operates in New York City and other metropolitan areas. “Twice a week, your chef will grocery shop, selecting the very best items from grocers and markets, cook in your home using your equipment, pack and label your dishes and clean up.”
Cost: Pricing varies, but Tenet says her company’s postpartum services start at $1,500 for a three-week commitment. She adds that most new parents sign up for a three-, six- or 12-week program.
As a new parent, every day brings the joy of new experiences. There’s a lot to be grateful for, but there’s typically one thing that’s in short supply: Sleep. A newborn care specialist—sometimes referred to as a night nurse—can help. They’ll provide the extra set of hands (and eyes!) you so desperately need in the middle of the night (or anytime, really). As in-home providers, newborn care specialists are trained in baby care, sleep training, first aid, feeding and more.
Brooke Barousse, founder of Lexington Nannies & Household Staffing in Southern California, has placed hundreds of newborn care specialists in homes with expanding families throughout her career. She says that most shifts are either 12 or 24 hours (with the latter requiring a four-hour paid break). Understandably, this service is most popular in the evening hours, so that new parents can get rest during the first few days and weeks. Barousse says that most of her clients use a newborn care specalist’s services for at least one month, with some opting to keep their care provider for up to six months. “It’s definitely a luxury service, so the bigger the budget for this specialized care, the longer they get to enjoy having a newborn care specialist in their lives,” she adds.
Cost: Newborn care specialists get paid differently throughout the US. Barousse explains that some states require that you pay hourly, while other states allow you to pay a daily or shift rate. Hourly rates can vary between $30 to $60 per hour; day rates can vary from $300 to $1,200.
A doula’s work doesn’t have to end at the hospital. Just as a birth doula can help you feel more satisfied with the outcome of your labor and delivery, a postpartum doula can enhance the experience that follows at home. “A postpartum doula provides a safe space for the entire family, and leans into the mother’s needs,” says Nina Fiori, CPD, a Los Angeles-based birth and postpartum doula. “At the same time, they’ll educate and allow the family to transition into parenthood without any judgment.” In short, a postpartum doula will offer holistic care for you, baby, your partner and your other children. They’ll even help with some light housework, if needed. Basically, they offer a listening ear, a warm shoulder and an extra set of hands to put to work. (Yes, all that in one super-human helper.)
Cost: Postpartum doulas are typically paid by the hour for in-home services. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the cost of a postpartum doula can range from $15 to $100 an hour, generally with a minimum commitment of allotted time.
If you choose to breastfeed, you’ll likely be visited by a lactation consultant in the hospital. This initial and often very quick evaluation can help you get an overview of the basics, but it can also leave you feeling frustrated and wanting more thorough attention. And once you’re discharged, you’re kind of on your own. Breastfeeding has a learning curve, and it can be incredibly challenging for first-timers. If you don’t get the help you need on your feeding journey early on, you’re more likely to feel defeated, and you’re more apt to throw in the towel. That’s where an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) comes in to save the day.
“A good IBCLC is worth their weight in gold,” says Nikki Hunter-Greenaway, NP, IBCLC, a family nurse practitioner and lactation consultant. “Initial and follow-up offer extended one-on-one patient-centered support that is not offered in the hospital—with visits usually lasting beyond one hour and most often visits occur in the home or a comfortable office space,” she adds.
Cost: The cost of an IBCLC visit varies by region, with fees ranging from $175 to $400 for a home visit or $100 to $300 for a virtual visit, says Hunter-Greenaway. To be clear: Getting lactation support shouldn’t be a luxury; Rather, it should be the bare minimum, so check with your insurance company. Some will cover the cost of up to six visits with an IBCLC.
Brooke Barousse is the founder of Lexington Nannies & Household Staffing in Southern California.
Nina Fiori, CPD, is a birth and postpartum doula based in Los Angeles.
Nikki Hunter-Greenaway, NP, IBCLC, is a family nurse practitioner and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in the Houston area.
Boram Name is the cofounder of the Boram Postnatal Retreat at the Langham Hotel in New York City.
Tiana Tenet is the co-founder of The Culinistas, a private chef company that operates in New York City and other metropolitan areas.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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