By the time women have delivered their babies, they have had more doctor’s appointments in nine months than they may have had in all their lives combined. But just because the baby is born does not mean that the appointments are over. In fact, one of the most important appointments that women can have is their postpartum care appointment. This is because not only are women checked out physically to see how they are healing after birth, but they can speak to how they feel emotionally as well. These and more are things that women can expect from their postpartum appointments.
While the importance of prenatal appointments is shouted from the rooftops, postnatal care does not get nearly the same amount of attention. This is a shame because just as the hormones that flooded women’s bodies during pregnancy sent them on an emotional rollercoaster, the same can occur as hormones return to their pre-pregnancy levels.
Such, checking in on women to see how they are both physically and emotionally will help doctors to determine if the postpartum period is progressing as it should or if some assistance is required to help new moms that may be struggling a little. Something of which is nothing to be ashamed about for women in the fourth trimester.
Here is what to expect from your postpartum appointments.
What Is A Postpartum Appointment?
A postpartum appointment gives doctors the opportunity to see how women are recovering both physically and emotionally from childbirth. This is important, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists because the health that mothers have during the fourth trimester will set the foundation for their current health as well as women’s health in the future.
Per the publication, a postpartum appointment gives new moms the opportunity to speak with their healthcare providers about pain, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, and other feelings and emotions being dealt with. This is a safe space for women and because of this, any struggles to be experienced should be expressed so that they can be addressed to be as physically and emotionally strong as possible both for the new mothers and for their babies as well.
When Postpartum Appointments Are Scheduled
With most women’s insurance plans, an appointment can be scheduled six-weeks postpartum. And while this is what many have come to know as the norm, there are new guidelines, according to the March of Dimes that recommend women be seen at three weeks postpartum as well.
Per the publication, the more postpartum appointments that women have, the better able they can be monitored for changes in mood or even their physicality. And when this happens, the better the opportunity for women to get through the postpartum period with their needs met versus feeling overwhelmed with their new role as mothers.
What Happens At Postpartum Appointments
During a postpartum appointment, there are several things that women can expect to occur.
According to Carnegie Imagingthose things include:
Physical exam: This will be similar to an annual exam. Doctors want to make sure that women are healing properly from either a vaginal or C-section birth. It is also a time for women to talk to their doctors about any physical issues they are experiencing as well.
Mental health exam: Because postpartum depression is prevalent, doctors want to get women the help they need to combat it as soon as possible. As such things like anxiety, depression, or anything else weighing heavily on the minds of new mothers will be discussed so that nothing is overlooked from a mental health standpoint.
Breastfeeding: Women will be asked how breastfeeding is going. If there is any concern, a lactation consultant may be recommended.
Birth control: So that women do not get pregnant too quickly after the birth of their babies, doctors will help them find a birth control method that is appropriate.
Care Team May Be Put Together Postpartum
During the postpartum period, there are a lot of changes happening in new mothers’ lives. As such, a healthcare professional may recommend that a postpartum care team be put together to help during the fourth trimester.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, some people that should be included on the postpartum care team include:
- Family and friends to help with daily chores
- Healthcare provider
- Mental health provider
- Lactation consultant
- Healthcare professionals to help with underlying health conditions
When it comes to the postpartum health of new mothers, nothing should be overlooked. As such, the more help that new mothers can get, the better.
Babies Are Welcome At Postpartum Appointments
Given that most postpartum appointments happen just weeks after the birth of a baby, practitioners understand the need to bring them to the postpartum appointments. But, according to What To Expectthe office where the appointment is to take place should be consulted to ensure that babies are, in fact, allowed to attend postpartum appointments or if childcare needs to be found.
Source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes, Carnegie Imaging, What To Expect, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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