What happens in a postnatal check?

postnatal check

Dr Anuj Chaturvedi, medical director and GP at HealthClic, answers your question about the postnatal check

Your first check-up will occur between six and eight weeks after giving birth. Around this time, your anatomy will be returning to its non-pregnant state. This check-up is an opportunity for your GP to ensure you are well both physically and emotionally, along with the chance to meet your newborn for the first time. I always encourage new mothers to bring with them a list of questions they might have, and I tend to allow one hour for each postnatal check-up to run through everything clearly so you can leave feeling at ease.

Your physical examination will involve being weighed, having your urine checked for kidney function, checking the healing process of any stitches and a discussion about bleeding or periods since delivery. Your doctor will also ask whether you have had a smear test recently and book you in for one if not. Although it’s recommended on the NHS to have a smear test every three years, I recommend my patients have this annually.

Finally, your GP will need to ensure you are up to date with your own immunisation schedule (including rubella), and you can even have a discussion about your little one’s immunisation schedule, too. Do also expect a discussion about contraception options, even if this isn’t the first thing on your mind. The most important thing is that you are honest and able to relax. Most worries you may be experiencing are normal, but it is always best to speak to your GP openly about them. Even if you are slightly overwhelmed, tired or suffering the baby blues; your doctor can help you take proactive steps. Your emotional wellbeing is equally as important – don’t forget that.

Want more? Could you be suffering from postnatal anxiety?