New 'postpartum house' in Calgary believed to be one of first of its kind in Canada

Moss Postpartum House is set to open this spring, and it may be the first postpartum house in the country.

Lactation consultants, physiotherapists, family counsellors and more at Moss Postpartum House

Moss Postpartum House will offer a range of services for new parents. It is located at 1614 Eighth Ave. N.W. in Calgary. (Moss Postpartum House)

Being a new mom can be overwhelming, even if everything goes smoothly with the labour and delivery.

But many new moms find themselves driving all over the city for followup appointments or seeking help for postpartum issues after the baby arrives — from complicated labour, breastfeeding problems to postpartum depression.

Paige Barlow wants to change that by bringing all that support under one roof.

Barlow plans to open Moss Postpartum House this spring, and it may be the first postpartum house in the country.

"I noticed there was a big disconnect after parents had their baby with support," said Barlow, who has worked as a postpartum doula for about seven years. "And it was very difficult for a new mom. They're often breastfeeding in the car and having to put in multiple locations for multiple appointments.

"So I thought by putting everyone under one roof it would make it more convenient and easier for moms to support their new baby, and families in general."

Barlow says many parents, especially first-time parents, don't think past the birth of their child.   

"I often get calls for after, when they're needing support for things like lactation consultant, some support so their babies could have a tongue tie, difficulty with latching, pelvic floor issues depending on the birth they had. A lot of mental health stuff, too."

Barlow believes this house is the first of its kind in Canada, certainly in Calgary.

"There's nothing like it currently," she said. "It's been in high demand for a while, but it's just been in multiple locations. So putting everyone under one roof is kind of just making it more streamlined for families."

Moss Postpartum House will be located at 1614 Eighth Ave. N.W.

"So it is a historic home in the Hounsfield Heights area, and we have a parking lot behind it as well, which is really great," she said, adding there are seven offices within the house.

"I had the option of having a larger facility but I want it to feel like they're coming to another house, in another home ... not a big facility."

A company in Ontario called The WOMB (World Of My Baby) offers similar postpartum help, in addition to birth and prenatal services, in commercial buildings in Milton and Burlington, Ont.

The days and weeks after birth can be overwhelming for parents; a new facility will offer a range of postpartum services under one roof for Calgary parents. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/Associated Press)

Barlow says the central location will house psychologists and counselors, as well as offering community-based classes to help moms feel less isolated.

As well as chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy services, there will be a centralized place to go for lactation consultation, sleep consultation and pelvic floor issues.

"I'm going to have everything from classes and community support to one-on-one professional support in the house," Barlow said, adding that classes may include everything from conflict communication for couples to financial workshops to mindfulness coaching and sleep seminars.

"We've got a great group of professionals, what I consider the best of the best in Calgary," Barlow said. "I'm really looking forward to supporting local families and providing them support."

Barlow expects to open Moss Postpartum House in May.