Online course in Health & Psychology

Women’s Health After Motherhood

Learn how to take care of your physical and mental health after giving birth and feel supported during the postpartum period.

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 1 hour
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $44 Find out more

Explore postpartum health problems and learn when to seek help as a new mother

After giving birth, women can struggle to access reliable resources and trustworthy information regarding their own health. There can be confusion surrounding what is and what isn’t normal after giving birth and many mothers unnecessarily suffer in silence.

On this course, you will gain advice and strategies on how to prioritise postpartum care and help women support one another during the postpartum period. You will address common physical and mental health challenges after birth, learning how to help yourself and when to seek professional healthcare.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondGiving birth, becoming a mother is an amazing, life-changing experience. Every year throughout the world, 140 million women give birth and become mothers. And each woman's experience of pregnancy, giving birth, and motherhood will be different. Hello. My name is Deirdre Daly. I'm an Assistant Professor in Midwifery and researcher in Trinity College Dublin. Eight years ago, myself and colleagues in Trinity started a study looking at the health and the health problems experienced by women before, during, and after their first pregnancy. And we followed these women up for one year after the birth. The study is called the Maternal Health and Maternal Morbidity in Ireland study, the MAMMI study. Over 3,000 women have joined us. They shared their experience with us.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 secondsThey told us about their health, their health problems, and what they did and all too often did not do about these health problems. Now we want to help women-- women who are pregnant now and want to know what to expect after childbirth, and women who may have become mothers recently or even in the last few years-- what we have learned from the women. In this free online course, our goal is to tell women some of the common health problems that women might experience after giving birth. Importantly, we want to give women reliable, trustworthy, evidence-based information.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 secondsCreated with women, mothers, midwives, women's health physiotherapists, mental health experts, and researchers, the course presents trustworthy, evidence-based strategies to help you think about your health and well-being following birth. The course will show you that some of these health problems are common, but they are not normal, help you understand what is and is not normal after motherhood, and importantly, give you tips to help you help yourself. It'll help you understand when you should ask for professional help, and again, give you tips on how you can ask for this help. Our focus is very much on women's health as they become mothers.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 secondsWe know many women may have concerns about caring for their baby, but we also know that women's health after childbirth is neglected in Ireland, in Spain, and in many countries throughout the world. In fact, in many countries, postnatal care focuses on the baby's well-being, not the woman's. This is what women have told us, and this is why this course is designed with and for women. It's all about asking women and women asking themselves the question. How are you? The information is also really relevant to your partner, and we hope it will be a great source of information for them too and help them help you thrive.

Skip to 3 minutes and 8 secondsBased on research with more than 3,000 mothers in Ireland, 3,000 mothers in Spain, the course is designed for and with women to help you take care of yourself as you care for your baby. Through videos, articles, and discussions, you will join a community of learners. So by the end of this course, you will have tips, strategies, and resources to chart your pathway to optimal well-being after having your baby.

What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1: Maternal health: Presents myths and misconceptions on maternal health globally. Learners will understand what is common versus what is normal, and how to prioritize your health postpartum.
  • Week 2: Physical health: We will discuss urinary and anal incontinence, and provide pelvic floor muscle training techniques.
  • Week 3: Mental health: Postpartum anxiety and depression are discussed, with learners identifying and building a social support network.
  • Week 4: Sexual health and relationships: Returning to sexual intimacy, identifying sexual health problems and recognising intimate partner violence are the topics examined in our final week together.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify common postpartum health challenges.
  • Apply strategies to address postpartum health challenges.
  • Recognise when professional help is needed for postpartum health problems.
  • Reflect on when self-help actions are needed.
  • Assess what are normal and uncommon health challenges postpartum.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or have recently had a baby. It’s ideal for anyone interested in postpartum maternal health issues, including midwives, nurses, and obstetricians.

Who will you learn with?

Deirdre Daly

Deirdre Daly

I’m an Assistant Professor in Midwifery, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. I’ve worked as a midwife, midwife teacher & now maternal health researcher all my life & I love it.

Cinny Cusack

Cinny Cusack

Cinny has worked in Women's Health for over 25 years and is the Physiotherapy Manager in the Rotunda Hospital. She regularly lectures at postgraduate level and has participated in published research.

Susan  Elizabeth

Susan Elizabeth

Susan Hannon is a research assistant and project manager with the MAMMI Study in Trinity College Dublin, with research interests in the area of maternal mental health and resilience.

Who developed the course?

Founded in 1592, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s highest ranked university. It promotes a diverse, interdisciplinary environment to nurture ground-breaking research, innovation, and creativity.

The University of Barcelona is the principal public institution of higher education in Catalonia. Dedicated to innovation and teaching excellence, it is the leading centre of university research in Spain and a European benchmark for research quality.

EIT Health promotes healthy living, active ageing and improvements in healthcare.

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