What is your six week postpartum appointment for?
Your doctor or midwife will want to see you four to six weeks after you give birth to check on your physical recovery from pregnancy and delivery. She will also see how you’re adjusting emotionally, and address your needs going forward. You may need to see your practitioner before this visit, as well. If you had a c-section, for example, she’ll need to check your incision a week or two after delivery to make sure it’s healing properly.
You may still be dealing with some pregnancy or childbirth related aches and pains, and you may have some questions about how your body has changed. You may also have questions about your labor and delivery and about postpartum issues like breastfeeding, birth control, exercise, sex, and work. It helps to come prepared with the questions you’d like to ask and any other issues you’d like to discuss.
If you have concerns you would like addressed immediately, don’t hesitate to come in before six weeks.
Your physical Exam
You will also receive a physical exam at your appointment. During this exam, your provider will:
- Check your weight and blood pressure.
- Feel your abdomen to be sure that there’s no tenderness.
- Check your incision if you had a c-section.
- Examine your breasts for lumps, tenderness, redness, and cracked nipples or abnormal discharge.
- Examine your external genitalia, including your perineum. If you had an episiotomy, she’ll check to see that it’s healed.
- Do a speculum exam to look at your vagina and cervix. She’ll be checking to see that any bruises, scratches, or tears have healed. And, if you’re due for a Pap smear, she’ll do that during the speculum exam.
- Do an internal pelvic exam to feel your uterus and check that it is returning to it’s pre-pregnancy size, feel your cervix and ovaries to identify any problems, and check your vaginal muscle tone. She may do a rectal exam as well.