Postpartum Follow Up, Three Things to Expect

Can you believe it? You've made it through your pregnancy and now your postpartum journey begins. So what can you expect at your postpartum visit and when will you be seen? Keep reading and find out how things might go for you!

How are you feeling? An assessment.

New moms often feel anxious, nervous, and overwhelmed after giving birth. There can be some struggles with adjusting, such as having issues with breastfeeding, lack of sleep, and not enough support. Many offices have come up with an assessment to determine if a new mom may be experiencing postpartum depression. Some offices may have their own specific questions to ask and others have a questionnaire for mothers to complete known as the EDPS. Postpartum Depression is a mood disorder moms can experience after giving birth. It doesn't always happen right after the delivery of your little one, sometimes it can happen months later. Postpartum Depression can last for a few weeks or a few months. It's important to pay attention to how you feel. Things to look out for are:

  1. Feeling sad, anxious, or angry for no reason

  2. No longer having pleasure in doing things that you normally love to do

  3. Feeling disconnected from your baby

  4. Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

These are key things to note. Please follow up with your provider or let them know at your appointment if you're just not feeling like yourself. Postpartum depression can be treated in many ways.

Complications and incisions

From personal experience and working in patient care, you'll want to be seen in about a week if you experienced anything such as eclampsia, postpartum hemorrhage, any tearing while pushing or even a c-section. For women that have had c-sections, the provider will want to check your incision to make sure it is healing well. Sometimes the incision can become infected and there are in office procedures that can be done to help with the healing process. Sometimes they can become so infected that you may be sent back to the hospital. For moms that have experienced other issues , your care taker will want you to follow up. For new moms with blood pressure issues, you may have to be prescribed a medication for a while to help lower it. After my hemorrhage, my midwife wanted to see me to make sure I hadn't had anymore bleeding. I also remember after my oldest daughter and my eclampsia ordeal, I was placed on anti-seizure medication because of my seizures. So, this postpartum visit will be one that deals with any complications or surgeries you had.

Pelvic Exam and possibly a pap smear.

So if you've delivered your baby vaginally, it needs to be determined that your uterus is back down to it's normal size. This appointment usually happens at the six week mark. A pelvic exam will be performed and in some cases you will have you pap smear or annual exam. If your pap was due before your baby's due date then you would have had your pap smear at your initial prenatal visit in most cases. If not, then you will have it at your six week check up. You also get to decide on birth control options if you choose to go that route. Some women will have had their tubes tied after giving birth. You can talk to your provider about different birth control pills, IUD's, or any other variety of birth control options.

Following up after giving birth is important for a lot of reasons. Whether you see your provider in one week or twelve weeks, be sure to take notes and ask the questions that you need to ask.

Until next time, sending you all peace, love, and happiness!

Tiffany Underwood - Prenatal Consultant

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