Your postpartum checkup will occur after your labour, so that your healthcare provider can monitor and check that you and your baby are healthy and doing well.
It’s an incredibly important part of making sure that you are recovering after your labour and birth, and making sure that you have the support you need.
The postnatal appointment is usually with your midwife, family doctor or obstetrician. These typically take place between three and six weeks after your baby’s birth and are done to see how you’re doing physically and mentally.
New mothers can be at risk of serious and life-threatening health complications, so postpartum care is important for both the mother and baby. Regardless of the neonatal outcome, a postpartum checkup is important for vaginal births and surgical deliveries.
What To Expect At A Postpartum Appointment
Every person and pregnancy is unique, so your visit may look different to someone else’s. The important thing is that you have the time to address any of your concerns and your doctor checks on how you are doing physically and mentally.
During pregnancy, the body undergoes changes that help prepare for childbirth, such as an increase in blood volume and hormones. Postpartum care is important to ensure that a new mother’s body returns to its pre-pregnancy state after giving birth.
It is important to understand that your body may not return to how it once looked. This change is completely natural and beautiful, and is a result of the hard work your body has done to bring new life into the world.
You can talk to your doctor about any of these changes and concerns that you may have during your postpartum checkup.
If you are breastfeeding, this can be a good time to make sure that you aren’t having any complications or need any assistance, and so that you can make a plan for breastfeeding.
Many new mothers experience postpartum depression and anxiety, and it’s important that you get help for this as early as possible. Your GP or Obstetrician may not be equipped to handle all of your mental health needs, but they will be able to direct you to a professional who can make sure that you get all of the support and care that you need.
Some of the things that will checked and topics that can be discussed:
- Checking your blood pressure, weight, breasts and belly
- Breastfeeding & lactation
- Birth control
- Physical & emotional changes
- Mental health
- Checks of c-section incision, uterus, cervix, and vagina
- When you can safely resume sex and/or exercise
- Follow up on any health conditions that presented in pregnancy
- Poor sleep, fatigue, pain, or bleeding
- Leaking urine or pain when you urinate
- Gas and constipation
It is also a great time to talk about the various birth control options, and you can also discuss timing for your next baby if you plan to expand your family in the future.
Don’t Skip Your Checkup!
It is likely that you are prioritising your new baby’s health right now, but it’s still important to be looking after yourself.
You may feel perfectly fine and in good health, however, it’s vital that you still go to your appointment.
It can help prevent any future medical problems that may arise, and help you feel less alone or bewildered by this new experience in life.
If you are looking for an obstetrician and gynaecologist on the Sunshine Coast, Dr Kelvin Larwood is always here to answer your questions and offer resources for your family.