Mamas wait for what seems like an eternity for their babies, so when they finally arrive it's a big relief. There's another wonderful thing that comes with holding the warm bundle of joy, clearing your calendar of prenatal appointments! But, before women can pencil in other activities, they need to go in for their six week postpartum checkup. Here's what to expect during the visit:
- A thorough pelvic exam, including a pap smear, an examination of any episiotomy, vaginal tear, or C-section scar healing and a check of the uterus's return to its prepregnancy size.
- A breast exam including a breast cancer screening and checks for infections and abscess that may result from breastfeeding.
- Blood work to check for anemia or thyroid issues.
- A mental health evaluation to screen for postpartum depression and determine the mother's overall well-being.
- A discussion about birth control options. Depending on a woman's breastfeeding goals and her plans for subsequent children, her contraceptive options may vary from her prepregnancy ones. Be sure to discuss all options with your doctor.
- Clearance for postpartum sexual activity. Many husbands view the six-week postpartum checkup as the green light for resuming sexual activity. If your doctor does say it is OK to proceed, discuss any tips she might have to get you started again.