“I didn’t feel like myself for at least 2+ years.” 

“No one told me my body would fall apart after giving birth.” 

“I had no idea how lonely it would be, becoming a mom.” 

These words reflect the postpartum experience for many in the 21st century: overwhelming, painful, isolating, and exhausting. While many people feel a strong desire for guidance and help after birth, postpartum care is often referred to as the “poor relation” in maternity care, with the majority of postpartum people receiving scant attention in the weeks after baby arrives. And while most midwives go above and beyond the norm to offer multiple home visits and care through the first 6 weeks, there is growing evidence that many health challenges present long after the first 6 weeks, and continue throughout the duration of the postpartum year.  

These include problems such as:

  • Thyroid Dysfunction
  • Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
  • Pelvic Floor Weakness, Incontinence, and Bowel Problems
  • Relationship Challenges
  • Breastfeeding Difficulties
  • Abdominal Weakness and Back Pain
  • Physical Exhaustion

Providers have historically focused on “Well-Baby Care” in the year after birth, but we are seeing parents in the 21st century calling for providers to establish methods of “Well-Mama Care” - care that focuses on the physical and emotional challenges that present after birth and throughout the postpartum year, and acknowledges that quality of life for the postpartum person matters.

So what would a “Beyond 6 Weeks” midwife- led, postpartum framework look like? Join midwife, nutritionist, educator, and mother of 3, Sarah Lax, as she explores current evidence on the postpartum recovery process, what the research tells us matters most to support the postpartum experience, and a review of innovative postpartum care models to deepen and elevate your midwifery practice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the current state of postpartum care in the 21st century and compare with the postpartum experience of traditional cultures
  • Explain the connection between maternal health and infant health after birth and in the postpartum year
  • Review current research on maternal health challenges (physical, mental, emotional) that present in the year after birth and barriers to support
  • Summarize the positive effects of the Midwifery Model of Care on postpartum outcomes
  • Review the benefits of social support (provider-led, peer-led, and functional) in the postpartum year
  • List common nutrients that are depleted after birth and their effects on thyroid health, breastfeeding babies, and maternal mood in the postpartum year
  • Review the important features of a provider led postpartum care framework in the postpartum year
  • Summarize innovate ways that technology can be used for postpartum education and care (hands on or hands off) throughout the year after giving birth

Approved by MEAC for 4 hours of continuing education under approval number M2021-47-0314DE, through July 31, 2023, and through approval number M2324-59-0212DE through March 31, 2026.

  • Sarah Lax, CPM, CHN

    Instructor Bio:

    Sarah Lax is a Certified Professional Midwife, practicing in Oregon and Washington. She holds a B.A. from Seattle University and graduated from Seattle Midwifery School (now Bastyr University). Sarah is also a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, a Holistic Pelvic Care™ provider, and a TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) provider. With over a decade of experience as a practicing midwife, Sarah has the pleasure of working as the in-house nutritionist with families at Vivante Midwifery and Women's Health, teaches as adjunct faculty in the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University and is the owner of Beginnings Whole Body Nourishment. Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Sarah spends her free moments on nature outings with her husband and three children, exploring new foods, playing music, moving and finding quiet moments as a parent to breathe.

    Sarah Lax

    Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Course curriculum

  • 01
    Introduction to Beyond 6 Weeks
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    • Welcome
    • A Note On Optional Resources
  • 02
    The Modern Postpartum Experience
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    • The Postpartum Experience - Then vs Now
    • Infant Health = Maternal Health
    • Health Challenges in the Postpartum Year
    • Integrating Traditional Postpartum Practices with Sejal Fichadia (Optional Audio)
  • 03
    Dynamic Postpartum Support
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    • Midwives as Leaders in Prevention and Planning
    • Redefining Support
    • Postpartum Planning with Kestrel Gates (Optional Audio)
  • 04
    A Maternal Health Care Plan
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    • Maternal Nutrient Depletion
    • 1 Year of Care: Clinical & Educational Support
    • Harnessing Technology and Legislative Challenges
    • A Year of Postpartum Nutrition with Lily Nichols (Optional Audio)
    • Reframing Expectations and Building Resiliency with Dr. Erin Grady (Optional Audio)
    • Postpartum Behavior Activation with Dr. Erin Grady (Optional Video)
    • Nutritional Support Client Handout Example (printable PDF)
    • Client Postpartum Resources- Website Links
  • 05
    Beyond 6 Weeks- The Research
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    • Literature- Required Reading
    • Literature Citations/Optional Reading
  • 06
    Course Evaluation and Post-Test
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    • MEAC Evaluation Questions
    • MEAC Post-Test and CE Certificate

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