According to America’s Health Rankings, “Health of Women and Children” after giving birth to a child the days and weeks following are a very critical time for both mother and baby. This is the point when mother is experiencing multiple physical, social, and psychological changes. Due to these turning points it is important for mother to attend her postpartum check-ups; these appointments are to focus on the health and the wellbeing of mother. While it is customary to only have one or two postpartum check-ups, there are many different benefits in continuing postpartum care. Additional visits have proven effective in improving parenting knowledge and confidence, and even improve the mental health of the mother.
The general recommendations for postpartum visits should happen between three and eight weeks after birth. It is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists postpartum care should be ongoing. However, it is normal in our culture to have a single visit a few weeks after giving birth. It is actually suggested an introductory assessment after the first three weeks postpartum, following individualized and ongoing care, then finally a comprehensive well woman visit.
Often, women only attend one postpartum visit. After the first six-week visit, mothers are given the “clear” to go back to life as usual pre-baby, however, six weeks is not enough time to recover. Regularly attending postpartum doctors’ visits can help your physical wellness, prevent chronic diseases, address your emotional wellness, discuss birth control and a healthy timeline between other pregnancies, infant care, and the transition to well- woman care.
Generally, when a woman has a low risk pregnancy her routine doctor’s appointment are every four weeks, until about the twenty-sixth week. After that they can change to every two to three weeks and eventually become weekly. the after care of a woman, her body, and her mental health should be just as important and tended more often than just one or two visits until she is cleared.
Being pregnant at a young age and a gym rat before my pregnancy, I was determined to get back into the gym and back to my hardcore workouts. I was excited to drop the 49.7 pounds I had gained and quickly! While pregnant I did mild workouts but found myself so frustrated that I couldn’t do the extreme two-a-days that I really wanted to. The day of my six-week check-up my doctor gave me the clear, I found a sitter and headed to the gym that next morning. I checked in and tried to jump right back into my usual routine. I tried to warm-up with my usual two-mile jog, I took my first stride, hit the end button, walked to the locker room got my bags and left. My body was not ready for any kind of extreme workout, nor was I even close to being able to run my normal two-mile run in under ten minutes that I was so ready for… or so I thought. I had to understand that I had just spent nine months growing human life and my body had changed. Just because the doctor had given me the “okay” to get back into the swing of things does not mean it was the right time for me and my body. It wasn’t until years later that I had to realize, not only was my body not ready to resume my normal routine but neither was my mental. I learned that I would have benefitted so much more from many more wellness check-ups than just the one that I attended.