six-week postpartum checkup

Your Postpartum Health What to Expect at Your Six-Week Checkup

The six-week postpartum checkup is a procedure that you need to follow for your health and your baby’s health. See the article for more information.

All new mothers are told that they should schedule their first postpartum visit with their obstetrician six weeks after giving birth, but few, if any, know what questions they should ask at that visit.

New moms are often so overwhelmed with responsibilities after giving birth that they dismiss prolonged postpartum “blues” as normal and don’t discuss them. Having a postpartum checklist will ensure that a new mom reviews these issues during her first post-delivery checkup. (Six-Week Postpartum Checkup)

You can learn about pregnancy stages and get week by week pregnancy information in our website.

Breast Health is Important

Breast health engenders specific concerns, especially for nursing mothers. According to a research breastfeeding promotes both infant and maternal health and is more beneficial than formula feeding.

Sixty-four percent of new moms choose to breastfeed in the early postpartum period and many may experience painful breast engorgement or improper milk drainage. In some cases, this may lead to infection (mastitis) or even abscess. New moms often think that lumps and pain “come with the territory” and don’t seek treatment until they develop serious complications. Also, new moms who are having difficulty breastfeeding often don’t seek instruction.

Breast health may also be a concern for women when they decide to stop breastfeeding. These new moms, and moms who choose not to breastfeed at all, should undergo a regular breast exam at their doctor’s visit and discuss any difficulties they may be having discontinuing lactation.

Also, check our another article about breastfeeding during pregnancy: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

Get in Shape Again

Losing the weight gained during pregnancy can be frustrating, and many new moms are unsure when they can begin an exercise routine or, if breastfeeding, how many calories they should consume.

Most women can safely begin exercising as soon as they are comfortable. Typically, they can begin walking for exercise after one or two weeks and engage in more vigorous exercise programs by six weeks. With exercise and appropriate diet, the usual weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week.

On average, a new mother should consume between 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day, and a nursing mom should add 500 calories. Breastfeeding can also help new moms lose weight faster, because nursing burns extra calories.

A postpartum exercise regimen coupled with appropriate caloric intake is important to the future weight and health of every new mom. Statistics show that some women who do not lose their pregnancy weight within six months of giving birth are likely to become overweight or obese in the future. New moms should talk with their doctor to determine an appropriate weight loss plan for their individual needs. (Six-Week Postpartum Checkup)

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Emotional Problems

The first six weeks after the birth of a baby are particularly trying times for new moms. Studies have shown that up to 85 percent of new moms experience feelings of sadness, or the “postpartum blues.” These feelings typically last less than two weeks, and new mother support groups and family members can often help alleviate these feelings.

However, 15 percent of new moms (approximately 600,000 women per year) have persistent symptoms that are the hallmark of postpartum depression. These include strong feelings of sadness, despair, anxiety, irritability and poor concentration. These women are no longer able to feel pleasure or joy and become unable to participate in the daily tasks of their lives. Women who experience these serious symptoms of depression for more than two weeks should consult their doctor and obtain treatment.

To learn more about postpartum depression : What is Postpartum Depression?

You should see our other articles and categories to learn the things you wonder.

Postpartum Exams

The postpartum exam should include a breast and pelvic exam. Six weeks after delivery the uterus should have returned to pre-pregnancy size, and episiotomy repair, vaginal tears and/or incisions from a Cesarean section should have healed. If indicated, a Pap smear will be done, and a blood test to check for possible anemia or thyroid irregularities may be warranted.

Our articles are prepared to give advice. Always consult your doctor first for any problems and exact information.