New mother at postpartum appointment

What to Expect at Your Postpartum Checkup

You may know that good prenatal care is important for the health of your baby. It’s also important for new moms to keep getting regular care after birth – so they can stay healthy, too.

Jeanne Bandelaria, a pediatric physician assistant in North Texas, explains why postpartum visits are so important, and what to expect when you visit your doctor for a checkup.

New moms should schedule a postpartum checkup within three weeks after giving birth, followed by a 12-week postpartum checkup. Depending on how you are feeling, your doctor may want you to schedule additional appointments.

A postpartum visit covers several aspects of a new mom’s health:

  1. A physical exam, which typically includes a:
    • Blood pressure check.
    • Pelvic exam.
    • Breast exam.

If you had a C-section, your doctor will check the incision to make sure it’s healing properly. They will also check to see if you are up to date on your vaccines.

  1. A mental health screening, where your doctor will ask you questions about:
    • How much sleep you’re getting.
    • How you are adjusting to life as a new mom.
    • Whether you have any symptoms of depression or anxiety.
    • If you are getting enough emotional support as a new mom.
  1. Your doctor will want to talk about your sexual health, including:
    • When it’s safe to have sex after childbirth.
    • Future family planning needs, like how long to wait before having more children.
    • Whether you need birth control going forward.
  1. If you are breastfeeding your baby, this is a good opportunity to ask any questions or share any concerns you may have.

To make the most of your postpartum visit, it’s important to be prepared. Get a journal or notepad so you can write down your questions or concerns about recovering from childbirth. You should be ready to discuss your mental health, future family planning needs, breastfeeding concerns, and any other questions with your provider. This will help ensure that you – and your baby – continue to thrive.

PCHP HEALTHfirst (STAR Medicaid) members can earn a $60 reward per pregnancy when they receive a postpartum checkup within 7-84 days of delivery. Click here to learn more!


Jeanne Bandelaria