After you’ve given birth, your physician will probably schedule a postpartum checkup for you. These checkups usually happen 4-6 weeks after delivery, and are meant to be about you. Your physician will want to check on your recovery from the delivery process, physically, mentally and emotionally.
This visit to your OB/GYN is not only for them to check on you, but for you to address any questions or concerns that you may have.
1. The physician may check your height and weight, and other areas of your body
During this part of your visit, your physician will want to check your physical state after delivery. They may start by measuring your weight and blood pressure, and move on to check your abdomen and breasts. A pelvic examination will likely be performed, especially after a vaginal delivery. This is a very important part of your postpartum visit, as your physician will check your vagina and cervix to ensure that any tears or bruising have healed. During the internal pelvic exam, they will make sure that your uterus has shrunk back down to the appropriate size, evaluate for incontinence and perform a pap smear if one is due.
2. They will discuss birth control
The postpartum period is one of the most common times for unintended pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss with you the multitude of options available for accurate contraception from natural family planning to sterilization procedures and help you choose which option is the right one for you and your family.
3. They will ask about the physical and emotional symptoms that you may be experiencing
This part of the process is for your doctor to understand how you’re dealing with post pregnancy. They may ask you about sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and unusual thoughts or actions. If you are having these and are concerned, you are encouraged to raise these concerns at your postpartum visit so that the doctor knows.
4. They will give you time to raise questions or concerns
The postpartum visit is a time for you and your doctor to discuss your new lifestyle and all possible concerns going forward. It often serves as an annual examination, helping to “catch up” with labs, testing and examinations which may have been missed or overlooked during the prenatal period. Be prepared to raise any concerns or questions that you have going forward and you are encouraged to make a list on a paper or smartphone so that you don’t forget the issues which are most important to you. This is your time with your doctor to make sure that your concerns are answered.
At Baptist Health, we know that it takes time to adjust to motherhood. Your baby is your first priority; but we are here to let you know that we’re here for you, too.