Before you leave the hospital after giving birth, your care provider should let you know when to schedule a postpartum check-up.
It may be two, four or six weeks away, but it’s an important visit to check on your physical and emotional health.
So what should you expect?
- Questions about your mood. Postpartum depression can be very serious. Be honest with your provider if you are feeling the “baby blues” so they can get you the help you need.
- An update on your physical symptoms. You will need to share how your bleeding has been, any soreness or tenderness, breast pain, incontinence, headaches- your entire body is affected by childbirth. Let your doctor know any detail so they can determine if you need further examination for those complaints.
- A physical exam. Your provider will likely check your weight (ignore this number for now!), blood pressure, abdomen and breasts, and perform a pelvic exam. She is checking to make sure you are healing properly, especially if you had tearing, bruising or an episiotomy.
- A plan for birth control. You should discuss if it’s safe to resume sexual activity, and if so, if you need birth control. It is absolutely possible to get pregnant again on first cycle following childbirth!
- Breastfeeding questions. If you are breastfeeding, they might ask how it is going. They should be able to provide resources if you need help from a lactation consultant.
You will likely be sleep-deprived and a bit overwhelmed in the first few weeks of your new baby’s life. Try to keep notes on any questions that pop up before your appointment, in case you can’t think of them on the spot.