You should make an appointment for your postnatal check with your GP or obstetrician. This should be done about 6 weeks after the birth of your baby.
This is an important appointment. Your GP or obstetrician can check you are recovering from giving birth and that you are feeling well.
Your baby also needs a check-up 6 weeks after birth. Either your GP or a paediatrician can do this check-up. Your postnatal check and your baby's 6 week check can be done by your GP during the same appointment.
This visit to your GP is a good chance for them to meet your newborn. It is also a chance for you to voice any concerns you may have and to ask questions. Consider making a list of any questions you may have before your visit.
What to expect from a postnatal check-up
Your GP or obstetrician will usually ask about any concerns you have and will discuss:
- the birth – what type of birth you had, whether there were any complications and how you are recovering
- contraception – it is possible to become pregnant very soon after giving birth. If this is not what you want, it is important to speak with your doctor about contraception.
- postnatal depression – they will ask you about signs. Postnatal depression is very common
- if you are due a cervical smear. They will schedule a smear for 3 months after the birth. Read more about if you should have a smear test
Your postnatal check may include:
- checking your blood pressure, particularity if you had high blood pressure during or after your pregnancy
- weighing you – if your body mass index (BMI) is high, your doctor will give you some advice on ways to reduce this
Your GP or obstetrician may examine your wound if you had a caesarean section or a tear.
Tell your GP or obstetrician if you are finding it hard to hold onto wee or poo, or if you are soiling yourself. This is a common but upsetting problem that some women experience for a time after giving birth. Your GP or obstetrician can help you with this.
Your GP will ask you about how you are feeding your baby, and whether your baby is feeding well. Your GP/obstetrician is there to support you during breastfeeding. Let them know if you are having any difficulties.
Your GP will offer you the MMR vaccine if your bloods show low rubella levels.