Every woman is different. Your doctor will help you decide what is appropriate for you. Make a postpartum care plan with your provider during pregnancy and talk to your provider about your postpartum care team.
A postpartum checkup is a medical checkup you get after having a baby to make sure you’re recovering from labor and delivery. Go to your postpartum checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. Postpartum care is important because new moms are at risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening health complications after giving birth.
Timely follow-up is particularly important for women with chronic medical conditions. The initial assessment should be followed up with ongoing care as needed, including a comprehensive postpartum visit. This visit should serve as a transition to ongoing well-woman care. The visit should be individualized with a full assessment of the following:
- Mood and emotional well-being
There is a difference between postpartum depression and “baby blues”. Baby blues are feelings of sadness, anxiousness, fear, and confusion are normal and usually go away after about a week. Postpartum depression is feelings that do not go away or get worse. Be honest with your doctor about your symptoms. Help is available.
- Infant care and feeding
Breastfeeding is generally considered best for both mother and baby. Your doctor will check with you about how it is going. He or she may recommend that you talk to a lactation specialist.
- Sexuality, contraception, and birth spacing
Your doctor will help you decide how soon, or if, you want more children. Birth control options are available to help you meet your goals.
- Sleep and fatigue
It is normal to be tired after having a baby. It takes a lot out of you. Take it easy and ask for help. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Avoid heavy lifting.
- Physical recovery from birth
Your doctor will ask you about your labor and delivery as well as how you have felt since. You will have a physical exam. This is also the perfect time to talk about losing weight. In most cases, it takes 8 to 12 months to return to pre-pregnancy weight.
- Chronic disease management
If you have a chronic disease and had to make changes to your treatment plan during pregnancy, be sure to talk about what is right for you now.
- Health maintenance
Your doctor will talk to you about any preventive care you need.
Your doctor may recommend treatment for your symptoms, ranging from preventive services to depression counseling to diet and exercise changes. Be sure to follow instructions.
GlobalHealth covers postpartum care, including any counseling.