Your postpartum checkup

As a new mom, it’s important that you go for a postpartum checkup. This is a medical checkup you get about 6 weeks after having a baby to make sure you’re recovering well from labor and birth. 

Go to your postpartum checkup, even if you’re feeling fine. It’s an important part of your overall pregnancy care. This visit is most likely covered by your health insurance, and most plans cover it without any co-pay. Check with your health insurance plan to find out. Look at the company’s website or call the number on your insurance card. 

If you had a cesarean birth (also called a c-section), your health care provider may want to see you about 2 weeks after you give birth so she can check on your c-section incision (cut). A c-section is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. Most c-section incisions heal without any problems, but some get infected. 

What happens at a postpartum checkup?

Here’s what to expect at your postpartum checkup: 

  • You and your health care provider can talk about birth control. Birth control is things you can do to help keep you from getting pregnant. 
  • You can ask your provider questions about any problems you had during pregnancy, labor and birth. This is the time to talk about how you may be able to prevent problems in future pregnancies, even if you’re not thinking now about having another baby.
  • You can share your feelings or concerns about being a new mom. It’s normal to feel tired and stressed in the weeks after birth. Tell your provider if you have feelings of sadness or worry that last for a long time. This is called postpartum depression (also called PPD). It’s a serious condition that can make it hard to live your life and take care of your baby. PPD can be treated. There are things you and your provider can do to help you feel better.  
  • Your provider checks on any health conditions you have, like diabetes and high blood pressure. If you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your provider may give you a blood glucose test to check your blood sugar. 
  • You get a physical exam. Your provider checks your blood pressure, weight, breasts and belly. 
  • You get a pelvic exam. Your provider checks your vagina (birth canal), uterus (womb) and cervix to make sure they’re healthy. The cervix is the opening to the uterus that sits at the top of the vagina. If you had an episiotomy or other tear during birth, your provider checks to see that it’s healed. An episiotomy is a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help let the baby out. 
  • Your provider makes sure your vaccinations are up to date, including vaccinations for flu and pertussis. 

More information

Last reviewed: January, 2014