Advice on what to expect during your six week postnatal health check up with your GP or midwife.
You should have your postnatal check about six weeks after your baby's birth to make sure that you feel well and are recovering as you should from the birth. You may go to your own GP or may be asked to return to the hospital. It is a good opportunity to ask any questions and sort out any problems that are troubling you. You may like to make a list of questions to take along with you so that you don't forget what you want to ask. If you have had a Caesarean section you may like to ask if another one will be needed if you have another baby.
Routines do vary a little but the list below is probably what will be done.
- You may be weighed. You may be on the way to getting back to your normal weight again by now. Breastfeeding mothers tend to lose weight more quickly than those who are bottle feeding.
- Your urine may be tested to make sure your kidneys are working properly and that there is no infection.
- Your blood pressure may be checked.
- You may be offered an examination to see whether your stitches (if you had any) have healed, whether your womb is back to its normal size, and whether all the muscles used during labour and delivery are returning to normal. Tell the doctor if the examination is uncomfortable.
- Your breasts are unlikely to be examined unless you have a particular concern.
- A cervical smear test may be discussed if you have not had one in the past three years. This is usually delayed until three months after delivery.
- If you are not immune to rubella (German measles) and were not given an immunisation before you left hospital, you will be offered one now. You should not become pregnant for one month after this immunisation.
- The doctor will ask if you still have any vaginal discharge and whether you have had a period yet.
- There will be an opportunity to talk about contraception. If you have any worries over contraception or, indeed, any aspect of sex, now is a good time to discuss them. Tell your doctor if intercourse is painful.
- If you're feeling very tired, low or depressed make sure you tell the doctor about this.
- If you are having trouble holding your urine, or wind or are soiling yourself tell your doctor.
Your GP's surgery or health clinic will probably arrange for your baby's six-week check to be done at your postnatal check. If you go to the hospital, the baby's check will usually need to be arranged separately.